SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There are 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV.
And one in seven don’t know they have it, according to the CDC.
Dozens gathered at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield Saturday to raise awareness and funds for HIV AIDS.
It was the Annual Aids Walk put on by the AIDS Project of the Ozarks.
Although advances in prevention and treatment have been made in the past few years, organizers say there’s still need for education surrounding HIV.
They say this event is about coming together in support of those living with the disease and in honor of those who passed.
“We have a variety of businesses, agencies, people who we don’t see any part of the year but this event, which is great because they are doing their part to raise awareness and let people with HIV know that they are important,” Lynne Meyerkord, executive director of APO, said.
“Everybody has their own corks and their beliefs but it just comes down to education and people understanding what’s going on with HIV,” Maxwell Coffey, administrative assistant at APO’s medical clinic, said.
The CDC recommends everyone between the ages 13 and 65 is tested at least once.
If involved in risky behavior, they recommend getting tested annually or even twice a year.