The Aids Healthcare Foundation is hosting a contest to motivate HIV testing in South Florida.
Every day, people can walk in to one of the four Out of the Closet thrift stores in Miami-Dade and Broward County, get tested for free and become eligible to win a Vespa.
“I think that is pretty exciting,” says William Lacey, 38. “I’d love to win a Vespa. It’s better than a $5 gift card.”
Lacey gets tested every three months, but this was the first time he went to Out of the Closet on Biscayne Boulevard. After getting his results, he registered for a chance to win a green Vespa.
Valerie Woods is a counselor and tester at the Biscayne store. She says the contest has helped them reach their annual goal — 120,000 people tested.
“We have identified a lot of positive people,” she says. “First-time positive people and people that were positive. So we have been able to link them into services so they can live.”
Woods sees about 32 people a day. During the contest, she says 75 percent of those have come for the Vespa.
She says it is important to get tested because Miami-Dade and Broward County are in the top five places with the highest HIV cases in the country.
“We want everyone to get tested, just know your status,” says Woods. “We have business people, homeless, street working girls that come in and also children that go to the charter schools. As long as they are 13 and older they can get tested.”
Each store will be giving away a brand-new Vespa valued at $4,800. The contest ends on June 29.
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