News Release

July 5, 2005

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

Hartford Community Health Fair and Basketball Tournament

The Hartford Youth HIV Identification and Linkage Group and the Boys and Girls Club, Inc. Host Event on Saturday, July 9th

FARMINGTON, CONN. – A city-wide community health fair and basketball tournament for boys and girl between the ages of 13 and 18 will be held Saturday, July 9th at the Asylum Hill Boys and Girls Club located at 170 Sigourney Street in Hartford. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Hartford Youth HIV Identification and Linkage Group in partnership with several community-based organizations and medical providers have joined together to organize the event. They hope to raise awareness and prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among Hartford’s young people. The teens will be offered free and anonymous HIV and STI counseling and testing in a friendly and safe environment.

“Our goal is to reach youth who are at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and let them know where to find information and medical care,” explains Nilda Fernandez, social worker of the Pediatric and Youth HIV Program, a joint program of the divisions of infectious diseases at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Hartford Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Youth under the age of 25 have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. Every 10 seconds, a child or young person is infected with HIV, according to the National AIDS Trust. It is estimated that about 3,500 people are infected in the Hartford area but do not know it.

Sponsors of the event include AIDS Project Hartford, Charter Oak Rice Heights Health Center, Children, Youth and Family AIDS Network, Hartford Health and Human Services HIV Program, Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective, Hispanic Health Council, Latinos/as Contra SIDA, State Department of Public Health STI Division, and UConn/CCMC Pediatric and Youth HIV Program.

For more information, contact Nilda Fernandez at (860) 545-7481.

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