Catholic Charities Esperanza Center Participates in City Uprising Event
On June 29, in the "City Uprising Event" more than a thousand Baltimore City residents participated in HIV testing and counceling. About 175 of these came to the Catholic Charities Esperanza Center in Fells Point, where in addition to being tested, everyone was offered a free meal. Anyone who tested positive or who had dropped out of treatment was also offered counseling.
Victoria Lyford-Pike, Esperanza Center staff member, who found the event inspiring, said, "There are moments from the day that I will never forget."
The City Uprising Event was sponsored by The JACQUES Initiative of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMB SOM) and Project SHALEM in conjunction with many community and faith-based organizations in Baltimore, including Catholic Charities.
"I tested positive for HIV in 1991," said Kathy Bennett, 51 years old, and a treatment coach for the JACQUES Initiative, a program of the Institute of Human Virology at UMB SOM. "It is so important for people to learn HIV/AIDS prevention and understand that if they are positive, they could live a happy, healthy life with proper intervention and medication. When I was first diagnosed, I promised to live to see my granddaughter graduate from High School – which I did just this past month. There is hope."
The Esperanza Center Healthcare Services Center is located at 430 S Broadway St. in Fells Point and offers free healthcare and dental services. Please call for an *appointment*, 443.825.3450. We also welcome inquiries from healthcare providers who wish to volunteer (443-825-3439).
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