Free HIV/STD testing on Nov. 17

ALEXANDRIA, LA. (KALB) - A local non-profit hopes to reduce the number of STD/HIV infections in Central Louisiana.

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Michael Parham, a registered nurse, says the United States has seen an uptick in sexually transmitted infections over the last five years. The most are in the south.

Parham volunteers at CLASS in Alexandria. CLASS offers free HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and outreach.

"I think if people know more about sexually transmitted infections, then they're much more likely to prevent those infections and get them treated," Parham said.

On Thursday, November 7, CLASS will hold a free clinic night for people in the community to learn their status. It starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. at 1785 Jackson Street.

Parham says he hopes to see as many people at the clinic as possible.

"We're hoping that if we provide enough education for our clients it will put in a safer position when they do that," he said.

The clinic offers rapid HIV testing with results in 20 minutes, and treatment for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. They also offer PrEP, a pill that can be taken once a day to reduce HIV risk by more than 90%.

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