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Afiya Center to host 11th annual HIV testing event in Dallas

Three people sit at a table under a tent at an outdoor event. The table is covered with a cloth that says
Kafi Brown
The Afiya Center
Staff from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation at a past Get Tested, Grab a Bite event hosted by the Afiya Center

The Afiya Center, Texas’s only Black-led and Black women-centered reproductive justice organization, is hosting its 11th annual Get Tested, Grab A Bite! HIV testing event in Dallas this weekend.

The Afiya Center works to advocate, educate, and provide resources to empower Black women in Texas living with AIDS.

In 2021, the Dallas County saw a 30% increase in HIV cases among men and a 6.5% increase among women. In its newly released State of Black Womxn in Texas Report, the Afiya Center found that in 2021, young Black women accounted for 51% of new diagnoses among women under the age of 25, but sex education and disease prevention programs in the state rarely address community needs.

“Texas is known to be like a resource rich kind of state, right?” Afiya Center founder Marsha Jones said. “But those resources don't meet the people who need them the most.”

Jones started the free testing event to bring attention to the lack of resources, as well as normalize HIV testing for women.

“We wanted to make this a day that wouldn't just be focused on HIV testing, but it would really have a sense of community,” Jones said.

Attendees who want to get tested will be able to get a full STI screening free of charge. Dallas County Health and Human Services will provide[NF1] mobile testing sites to help the organization collect data and build more resources in areas that need them.

“It helps us to build out our program,” Jones said. “It helps us to shape narratives around the importance of getting tested.”

People who choose not to get tested can still enjoy the free event filled with free food and live DJs. Jones has urged vendors not to sell anything to avoid discouraging people from attending an event that is based around finding a safe space.

“This is literally a day to enjoy life and have a good time and get some updated information about your sexual health,” Jones said.

The Get Tested, Grab a Bite! event is on Saturday, June 29, from 3-7 p.m. in Glendale Park.

Zara Amaechi is KERA’s Marjorie Welch Fitts Louis fellow covering race and social justice. Got a tip? Email Zara at You can follow her on X @amaechizara.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Zara was born in Croydon, England, and moved to Texas at eight years old. She grew up running track and field until her last year at the University of North Texas. She previously interned for D Magazine and has a strong passion for music history and art culture.