DeKalb Community Service Board’s HIV Counselor Margaret Renfroe currently holds the record for administering the most number of HIV tests in the state of Georgia. In 2013, underneath Renfroe’s leadership, DeKalb Community Service Board (DeKalb CSB) administered 1,112 HIV test to DeKalb CSB clients at the organization’s DeKalb Addiction Clinic.
Renfroe has been a state certified HIV counselor for over 25 years. She became a counselor after her best friend tested positive for HIV. “Because my best friend’s family lived in Puerto Rico, I became her support system here in the states,” stated Renfroe. “At that time [25 years ago], the only educational class available was an AIDS 101 course held at AIDS Atlanta. I began accompanying her to the classes and became fascinated with how this little germ could get inside of a person’s body and cause so much destruction.”
World AIDS Day is Monday, December 1st. In the United States, about 1 in 5 people who has HIV doesn’t know it. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. You could have HIV and still feel healthy. Everyone ages 15 to 65 needs to get tested at least once. Some people may need to get tested more often.
In observance of World AIDS Day, DeKalb CSB will join the DeKalb County Board of Health to provide free HIV testing and education during the World AIDS Day Event held at the Clifton Springs Health Center located at 3110 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur, Georgia, 30034 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Around the world, about 34 million people are living with HIV. In the United States, about 50,000 people get infected with HIV every year. World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV and AIDS.
According to Renfroe, everyone should have one HIV test in their lifetime. “You need to know your status. The fears associated with being tested are only temporary. Back when my best friend tested positive, people could get a diagnosis for HIV and 5-7 years later we would bury them. With today’s advancements, you no longer have to be someone who is dying from HIV; you can become someone who is living with it.”
DeKalb CSB is a public, nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of evidence-based behavioral health and developmental disability services. Through more than 20 locations across DeKalb County, DeKalb CSB serves more than 10,000 children, adolescents and adults annually to help them recover and resume productive lives. DeKalb CSB employs more than 500 staff, and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
For more information, on the World AIDS Day Event contact DeKalb County Board of Health at www.dekalbhealth.net. For information on all DeKalb Community Service Board services, visit www.dekcsb.org or call 404-508-7875.