Free HIV testing provided in Cathedral City on June 27, 2007

CATHEDRAL CITY— Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, (R-Cathedral City) is proud to announce that her office will be working in partnership with Working Wonders to raise HIV awareness on “National HIV Testing Day,” Wednesday, June 27th. Working Wonders will provide free HIV testing at their office in Cathedral City from 10am – 4pm and offer information on preventing HIV infection.

In addition to co-authoring AB 682, which will make HIV/AIDS testing a routine part of an individual’s healthcare, Assemblywoman Garcia has introduced House Resolution 16 to formally recognize “National HIV Testing Day” in the State of California.

The California Office of AIDS estimates that there are around 30,000-40,000 Californians unaware they are living with HIV. In 2004, 39% of those who learned they were HIV positive learned this with less than one year before being diagnosed with AIDS. “The anticipated benefits of simple and painless HIV tests far outweigh the costs of not knowing. With early detection and treatment a person who tests positive may still have a fulfilling and long life,” commented Garcia.

Working Wonders Founder and CEO Evelyn Hernandez Valentino said, “HIV/AIDS can and does affect anyone. The fact that one can be HIV positive without experiencing any symptoms reinforces the idea that everybody should take this opportunity to get tested.” Since 2000, Working Wonders has been providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS services to women, children, adolescents and families in the entire Coachella Valley.

FREE and confidential testing will be provided on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at the Working Wonders office located in Cathedral City at 35-325 Date Palm Drive, Suite 232 from 10am – 4pm. Members of Garcia’s staff will also be participating, providing needed resources to the community.