Planned Parenthood to hold clinical festival

Planned Parenthood has launched a local HIV awareness campaign and will hold a clinical festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in front of its clinic in Brownsville.

The clinic will provide free HIV testing to those who attend the event.

Planned Parenthood is located at 870 E. Alton Gloor Blvd., Suite B. in Brownsville.

The awareness campaign aims at reducing the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, increase awareness of risk, and encourage HIV testing.

The Brownsville City Commission on Tuesday presented Planned Parenthood South Texas with an official proclamation celebrating the decades of providing the community with medically accurate information about HIV/AIDS and making HIV testing accessible and affordable.

Planned Parenthood officials said despite some extraordinary advances in how we manage HIV, and new drugs like PrEP which can help prevent the transmission of the disease, the Rio Grande Valley’s HIV rate continues to be a serious public health concern. Stigma is a major factor, Planned Parenthood said, because it prevents people from getting tested, prevents them from taking steps to lower their risk, and can prevent people diagnosed with HIV from seeking treatment.

Throughout the coming year, Planned Parenthood promotoras will be making presentations in the community focused on educating people about risk with an emphasis on reaching Latinas between the ages of 18-29. Cisgender and transgender women of color are at higher risk of acquiring HIV, due to lack of access to safe and supportive health care, education, and information, Planned Parenthood officials said.

The campaign will also include billboards and marketing materials designed to educate people about HIV risks, reduce stigma, and promote testing.