National HIV Testing Day

By Julia McPherson on July 10, 2014 in AmeriCorps

The month of June was jam packed for Team Indianapolis promoting National HIV Testing Day in various ways.  Check out our work below!


Are you Positive you are Negative?

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Team Indy ended the year strong with a final project promoting National HIV Testing Day on June 27th.  To motivate our community to take the test and take control, the team worked diligently with WISH TV, a local television station, to create a public service announcement to air throughout the week.  We wanted to instill a bit of doubt in the community to motivate each individual to reach out and find a free testing site.  We did this through statements such as “I’m positive, I always have protected sex…except that one time.” We are hoping statements such as this will spark an internal conversation and a bit of question about their HIV status.  Even with just a little bit of doubt, we are hoping it will be enough to push people to get tested.

It was an awesome experience to witness the production side of entertainment even through just a 15 sec segment.  The spacing of each individual for the final shot, alone, took about 30 minutes!  Once the PSA starting airing, we were able to share it across all social media sources.  It was very rewarding seeing it air on TV and hear that many of the participants had received multiple calls from friends about their recent TV fame.

Be sure to have a look for yourself!



National HIV Testing Day Raffle:


IU Health LifeCare held its annual basket fundraiser this Friday, June 27th for National HIV Testing Day. IU Health employees could enter into the basket fundraiser and then head over to the clinic for a free HIV test. All proceeds from the fundraiser go to support the 2014 Indiana AIDS Walk. Basket Themes included Movie Night, Kids Movie Night, Red Wine & Cheese and White Wine & Cheese. IU Health LifeCare, Methodist Hospital’s comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment clinic, is a recipient of the funds raised to benefit those with HIV/AIDS who need assistance with emergency shelter, utilities, food, medicine, and other daily living needs.  A large percentage of the proceeds raised by the basket fundraiser will come directly back to LifeCare and IU Health.

Kids Movie Night Basket 2014


With Team Indy, my placement was with the AIDS Service Organization Step-Up. One of my duties at Step-Up was to maintain their website which was an outreach tool that we used to inform the general public of when and where they could get free HIV and STD testing. The website gives information about HIV and other STDs and is then divided into various sections representing different areas of Indianapolis, i.e. Central, East, West, etc. I keep the information updated with current addresses and contact information for various testing sites around Indianapolis as well as their hours of operation and any outreach testing that they do offsite. Another use for is that we can advertise various testing events taking place in the city. This feature was especially useful for advertising National HIV Testing Day and was a central piece in our Testing Day public service announcement that we created as part of our Long Term Project. now has all the information anyone would need to find out when and where testing events are taking place in Indianapolis for National HIV Testing Day.​


Walgreen’s National HIV Testing Day Event:


For National HIV Testing Day, the Damien Center partnered with Greater Than AIDS and Walgreens to provide free HIV testing at 6 Walgreens locations across Indianapolis. As the AmeriCorps member in testing and prevention, it was my responsibility to plan the event. I never realized how much planning went into an event like this. The most challenging aspect of planning was getting media coverage. I was plagued with the challenge of how to reach the population that needs to be tested the most. Like most things, everything worked out. Hot 96 (a local hip-hop/R&B) station agreed to do a remote at one of the central Walgreens locations on the first day of testing. The local Fox News station interviewed several Damien Center staff about the importance of getting tested, and other local news agencies talked about the event on air. From Thursday June 26-Saturday June 28, we tested more than 200 people, many of whom had never been tested before. The testing event was a huge success and a great learning experience for me.


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