Know your status: Where to find free HIV testing in Houston on World AIDS Day

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Pride Houston to offer free HIV testing on Friday
Pride Houston 365 explained why its working to test Houstonians for HIV on World AIDS Day.

HOUSTON, Texas -- In memory of the nearly 40 million people who've lost their lives to AIDS, Pride Houston 365 and others will offer free HIV testing on Friday.

World AIDS Day is observed every Dec. 1, to raise awareness of the disease and to remember the souls lost during the 42-year epidemic.

Allies in Hope reports more than 30,000 Houstonians are living with HIV today, with one new case being diagnosed in the city every eight hours.

While data shows HIV prevalence has dropped among Caucasian men, which account for 16% of new cases, Allies in Hope said the same is not true for Black and Hispanic or Latin Houstonians.

African American and Hispanic men and women in Houston now comprise 84% of new cases.

Where to Find Free HIV/STI Testing

Pride Houston 365 president Kendra Walker said the city's original LGBTQ+ Pride parade and festival will hand out free OraQuick HIV home testing kits Friday in three locations, no questions asked:

Friday, 3 p.m.: Velvet Taco, 907 Westheimer Rd., Montrose

Friday, 5 p.m.: Buddy's, 2409 Grant St., Montrose

Friday, 6 p.m.: South Beach, 810 Pacific St., Montrose

In partnership with The Normal Anomaly Inc., offering a free incentive program to encourage testing

Allies in Hope hosted a week's worth of events counting down to World AIDS Day, with two more events scheduled through the weekend:

Friday, 3-5 p.m.: Southlawn Palms Apartments, 7006 Scott St., Houston

Sunday, Dec. 3 - 10 a.m.-4 p.m. : S.O.E Shades of Red Award Brunch, Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St., Houston

To schedule an appointment anytime, visit Allies in Hope's website or call (832) 234-7737.

AmistadesHTX World AIDS Day Testing

Legacy Community Health's Hispanic and Latin storytelling project, AmistadesHTX, will provide free HIV testing on Friday from 12-4 p.m. at its office at 5420 Dashwood Drive, Suite 201, in Houston.

World AIDS Day at South Beach

Legacy Community Health will join Houston Health Department and The Normal Anomaly, Inc., for a celebratory commemoration from 6-8 p.m. Friday, featuring performances by legendary Houston performers Kofi and Tommie Ross. Click here for free admission.

South Beach is located at 810 Pacific St, in Montrose.

Standing in Solidarity

Pride Houston 365 said the aim of their efforts is to empower individuals to take control of their health and reduce stigma.

"As we know, fear is eradicated with understanding," Walker said.

Data from Allies in Hope shows 31% of Houstonians living with HIV have not been linked to care within one month of diagnosis.

Moreover, 43% of persons in treatment for HIV are not virally suppressed, and 86% of persons who could benefit from PrEP are not taking it.

Pride Houston 365 will also host a live chat at noon Friday on its Facebook page. The parade's board released this statement:

"As we mark 46 years of unwavering commitment to Pride and inclusivity, we stand together on World AIDS Day with a message of heartfelt compassion and solidarity. In our journey, we've witnessed a resilience of communities affected by HIV and AIDS. Today, we reiterate our dedication to support, eradicated stigma and promote understanding. Let us continue to be beacons of compassion, fostering a world where everyone, regardless of HIV status, is embraced with open hearts. As we know, fear is eradicated with understanding. Together we celebrate the process and advocate for a future free from the impact of AIDS."

ABC13 is proud to be Pride Houston 365's official media partner.