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National HIV Testing Day Brings Dozens

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

Carstella Harris lives her life with HIV.

"When I found out about it, I was just in shock. I just couldn't believe this could happen to me."

She was diagnosed in 1992, three years after marrying her late husband. Now more than 14 years later she still struggles with everyday life.

"I call it a plague. It's just so devastating."

Harris is sharing her story and getting the message out that it can happen to anyone. As part of national Free HIV Testing Day, people across the country and in Tallahassee were lining up for free HIV tests either by blood or by swab.

“You should get tested because it's not a death sentence anymore. You can point to people like Magic Johnson who's living with HIV and he's not living with AIDS, and you can have better quality of life by getting tested," said Corey James with Shisa Incorporated.

Christopher Dowdy waited in line for several minutes so he could get the swab test.

"Just be on the safe side. Be aware of what's going on with your body. Keep things clean within yourself."

Harris hopes people can learn from her.

"There are so many things that go along with it that can be avoided if people would just get tested, protect themselves, you can avoid this."


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