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World AIDS day: Crusader Clinic gives free HIV testing

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Millions of people mark world AIDS day and are hoping to bring awareness about the global health crisis that has plagued our communities for decades. One local community health clinic stood in the forefront in our region, taking steps to help those diagnosed with HIV. Crusader Health Clinic wants to erase the stigma that is still associated with AIDS by reaching out to community members who can help those who are infected. Doctors and nurses say HIV does not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender and sexual orientation. According to Crusader Health’s medical unit manager Jackie Aleksich she agrees there is a stigma around this personal subject.

Her goal is to break down those barriers for patients and encourage them to focus on their health. Aleksich says, ”it causes a fear in our patients that really leads them and has the potential to make them not get the services that they need prevents patients from getting tested it prevents them from getting treatments.”

The virus was first identified in the 1980s. It transmitted through blood products like sharing of needles or unprotected sex. The theme of this year’s world AIDS day is to end inequalities making sure everyone has access to HIV preventions and treatments.

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