Food, Friends and Testing

Organization goes beyond meals for annual event

by Yusef Najafi
Published on February 3, 2010, 10:51pm | Comments

Update: This event has been postponed due to inclement weather.

Food and Friends has been feeding people living with HIV/AIDS in the area for more than 20 years. To commemorate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Saturday, Feb. 6, Food and Friends is going further, joining forces with other organizations to offer free HIV testing and counseling.

The other organizations helping with the effort include the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the Blair Underwood Healthcare Center, and Us Helping Us.

''HIV and AIDS is not an issue that we're only dealing with in the heterosexual community," says Anthony Harbour, community-relations coordinator of the organization.

''It's not an issue that we're dealing with only in the homosexual community, or transgender communities, or any communities. HIV/AIDS is something that is transcending everyone -- regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, gender, etcetera, etcetera.''

The testing event marks the first time Food and Friends has led such an effort, Harbour says.

''It's important for all of us to do something about this epidemic, because it is affecting all of us, and we're all going to be impacted in some way, shape or form.''

Food and Friends will be offering oral-swab tests at the Riggs LaSalle Community Center, 501 Riggs Road NE, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which will provides results in 20 minutes. Counseling will also be made available to anyone who attends the event.

For more information, visit foodandfriends.org