Dozens of folks gathered on the levee with a special cause in mind. It was an initiative to raise awareness for HIV prevention, treatment, and support services.
“We all have to decide that this is something worth fighting for,” said HIV Activist Shirley Lolis.
Baton Rouge ranks second in the nation for new HIV diagnosis rates. 84% of all new cases in East Baton Rouge Parish, were in the Capital city.
Lolis said, “There’s still a problem in our community, and we still need to address it. And each one of us needs to do what we can do.”
That’s why these advocates were at the Red Wig Walk. They said the message needed to spread throughout the community.
“With an event like this, it brings everyone close together. A lot of people are not aware of HIV and AIDS, and the stereotypes. They are not really aware of stuff. You have a lot of younger generations who are just having sex. They are not aware of prevention to keep them from catching the virus,”Marlon Palmer said.
Lolis said there are a number of services being provided in Baton Rouge to help with prevention and treatment.
” There’s places like Care South, that’s really here to help people are infected, and there are places like Metro Health that provide testing in the community. So get educated, get tested, get treatment if needed, and live,” said Lolis.