"People think that it's not affecting us. Houston County alone has 420 diagnosed cases and those are people that have HIV. But to get a count of how many people truly has HIV, take that number and multiply it by seven."
Why multiply by seven?
"People are not getting tested. Just living in denial not wanting to know."
"It’s the stigma and also a lot of people are afraid of needles so they use that as an excuse."
But when it comes to HIV, there's no such thing as a good excuse.
"It's so much easier now. We have this 20 minute mouth swab and it looks like this. It’s the Oral Quick and this test is 99% accurate. All it is a quick mouth swab and we get the results back in 20 minutes."
No matter who you are, Or your relationship status...
"Anyone that is having unprotected sex is at risk. There's no certain gender or race. It affects the whole community."
"Just because you trust someone doesn't mean your exempt from getting HIV. Even if you're in a monogamous relationship, still test once each year."
And if you're sure it doesn't affect you? Think again.
"Even if you don't think that it affects you. If you have kids or teenagers coming up. They're going to be sexually active. Yes, we are in the South and in the bible belt. We don't want to believe that our children are being sexually active but they are. There's no need to be in denial. At least fully equip your child for when they get ready to make that step. Better safe than sorry."
All tests are confidential and free, just contact the Medical Aids Outreach of Alabama.