SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. --- Snohomish Health District and community partners will present a free Health & Beauty Fair on March 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Little Red School House, 14 E. Casino Rd., Everett, Wash. The event supports National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The fair will highlight important health issues and information for black women about heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and physical fitness. Local beauty professionals also will offer beauty tips, products, and services to fair participants. The featured keynote speaker will be Marilyn Calbert, African American Education/Outreach Specialist for YWCA Women’s Health, presenting, "Beauty is more than skin deep—but it doesn’t hurt to accentuate the positive!"
Snohomish Health District health professionals will offer HIV prevention information and free anonymous or confidential HIV tests to qualifying women and girls age 14 years and older who are at risk for HIV infection. The rapid HIV antibody test, adopted in 2004 by the Health District, requires only a drop of blood pricked from a finger. Test results are available within 30 minutes. No ID required.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day are annual initiatives to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, and particularly on the black community. About one-third of all newly detected HIV cases in women progress to full-blown AIDS within 12 months of initial HIV diagnosis. The same is true for new cases in the black community. This indicates that individuals are not getting tested regularly as a part of their normal health care. Instead they are waiting until they experience health problems, when the disease can be more difficult to treat. The virus has made a serious impact on black women especially: HIV is the third leading cause of death for black women ages 35 to 44. The Health & Beauty Fair is an effort to give Snohomish County residents with risk in their lives -- especially black women and girls – an opportunity to learn about and invest in their own health.
Contributing event partners include YWCA; Everett Community College School of Cosmetology; Hope Heart Institute; American Heart Association; Center for MultiCultural Health; Puget Sound Kidney Centers; HurriKayn Natural Soap; Loc’d Up Salon; Medical Reserve Corps; Mary Kay Cosmetics; YMCA of Snohomish County - Casino Road Youth Development; Decarla’s Beauty Supply & Salon; It Works! Skin Care & Body Wraps; AIDS Project Snohomish County; Washington State Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health; and Region 10 and the Region 10 HIV Regional Resource Network Program.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health report:
- Today, about one in four Americans living with HIV is a woman.
- About 40 people test positive for HIV/AIDS every year in Snohomish County.
- More than 640 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Snohomish County.
Having unprotected sex with an HIV-infected person is the main way HIV spreads. It also spreads through sharing injection drug equipment with someone who is HIV-positive, or from an HIV-positive mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
During a standard week, the Health District offers rapid tests, oral swab, and standard blood draw tests
by appointment Monday through Friday. Tests cost $84 for everyone except high-risk persons, who are tested for free. Appointments: 425.339.5298. High-risk individuals include men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users, black women over 25 years of age, persons who have sex with high-risk persons, or a sexual partner of someone who is already HIV-positive.
The Health District also offers walk-in (no appointment) rapid HIV antibody testing routinely at these sites:
- All Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Snohomish Health District, 3020 Rucker Ave., Ste 106, Everett, Wash. 98201-3900
- By appointment on Mondays only –Snohomish Health District Lynnwood Clinic, 6101 200th SW, Ste 100, Lynnwood, Wash. 98036
Incorporated in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.