Free HIV screenings Thursday in Bessemer

As part of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, FMS Pharmacy in Bessemer and Samford University's Community Pharmacy Residency Program will kick off a new HIV-testing initiative Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10 AM.

"It's so important that people be tested," said Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley, who will speak at the event. "Thanks to today's treatments, HIV isn't an automatic death sentence. But you're not going to get those life-saving treatments if you don't know you need them."

The free HIV screenings are the result of a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will cover the cost of 200 tests. FMS will continue to offer free screenings every Tuesday from 9 AM to 5 PM until the CDC grant is used, and even after that point, the pharmacy hopes to continue to provide low-cost HIV tests.

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