by Jessica Clifford
In North Carolina, about 36,800 people are living with HIV or AIDS, of those, an estimated 3,400 are unaware they are living with the disease, reported North Carolina Public Health and Human Services. Since 1986, Triad Health Project, a nonprofit location at 801 Summit Ave. in Greensboro, has been trying to close this gap through education, prevention and care.
“People don’t get into care because of stigma around [HIV/AIDS],” said Paula Barger, the development director for Triad Health Project. “We want people to be, not fearful, but vigilant – get tested and know their status.”
Today, the nonprofit uses two levels of free case management assistance, serving a total of 550 people each year. The first level is regular case management services, while the second level provides medical case management, helping by educating about HIV medication, finding housing and stopping addiction.
They also serve patients with free, confidential testing, where they will receive results in just two weeks.
On Nov. 18, the Triad Health Project’s annual fundraiser kicks off. Though in the past it was known as the Winter Walk for AIDS, this year the name is changed to Ron Johnson Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk. The run will begin at Joymongers, with registration lasting from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. After the walk and the 5K, join everyone at LoFi Park for food and beverages.
“Even though it’s a really sensitive topic, it is made to be a family event,” Barger said.
Leading up to this event will be a revealing of four panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and movie showing. The Memorial Quilt is 54 ½ tons with 49,000 panels, honoring people that have died from HIV and AIDS. They will be on display at the Greensboro History Museum from Nov. 16 to 19.
Also, leading up to the main event will be two screenings of “The Last One: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt” on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. The documentary, made in 2015, retells the story of the creation of the quilt.
Both events leading up to the Ron Johnson Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk are free and open to the public. For more information about the Triad Health Project, visit their website at triadhealthproject.com.