Health Expo spreads the word: Get tested

Free screening was offered at Saturday's Health Expo.
Photo Submitted by Fatiah Caldwell.

The Delta Kappa Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority hosted its fifth annual Health Expo, “Becoming Healthy, Wealthy, and Smart,” on Saturday.

The event was held at the chapter’s community center and was free to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free HIV health screenings were available, and there were many vendors offering health advice and giving out goodies for people to enjoy. Among the vendors were the Florida Department of Health, Wellcare, American Red Cross, Leon County EMS, Big Bend Cares, WCRX Pharmacy, and many more.

With HIV and AIDS being diagnosed more often among African-Americans compared to other ethnic groups, it is of the utmost important to get checked annually.

“It is very important to get screened and be self-aware,” Jarman Francis, a pharmacy Intern at FAMU, said. “HIV clinics are around the local area so you can know your status,” he added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have occasional exposure should be tested at least once a year and people who are at risk for HIV infection should get tested every three to six months.

One common mistake many people make when it comes to their health, is thinking that having health insurance isn’t a necessity. “Not having health insurance is a risk,” Florida Blue consultant Stephanie Madrazo said. “There is help out there for lower income households with co-pays close to zero dollars,” she added.

Selika Sampson, vice president of the alumni chapter, urged participants to be more aware of their health status.

“Most adults can go through an entire year without being seen by a primary health care physician,” Sampson said. “We often result to emergency care services which tends to be more costly.” Having an event like the Health Expo helps the community by providing free preventative care.

For more information on prevention and health tips locally, please visit the Bond Community Center located 1720 South Gadsden St. as well as the FAMU health clinic located on campus.