AVOL fighting another virus, encourages testing for HIV

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – AVOL Kentucky has been working for more than 30 years to erradicate HIV.

With the coronavirus, AVOL Executive Director Jon Parker says the organization wants to reemphasize another virus remains to be fought.

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“Testing, as we’ve learned for viruses, is very, very important and that’s true for us,” said Parker, noting the group has been looking for ways to expedite testing in the community.

“Testing gives you a real time snapshot of a persons risk and whether or not they’ve come in contact with the virus because with one in seven people living with HIV not knowing they have the virus, they can’t be treated,” said Parker. “And treatment is really the key to not only helping people live healthy lives but also keeping other people safe from contracting the virus.”

Parker says like most organizations they were shutdown and had very little access to testing during the pandemic. But with the recent successes of COVID-19 testing and businesses reopening, Parker says the organization feels it is time to bring back HIV testing.

“We decided that we had the capacity, once we received enough PPE, personal protection equipment, to be able to do that testing right from peoples own vehicles, privately at our location,” said Parker.

Parker says the results are back within 10 minutes.

To help cut down on traffic, Parker says people should make an appointment for a test by calling 859-207-2506.

“The need is greater than ever and getting that capacity up and running was just a high priority for us,” said Parker.

For more information, click HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!