Updated 07/11/2012 05:10 PM
Condom Nation Tour stops in Charlotte to promote HIV awareness
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CHARLOTTE -- One group is on a mission to hand out more than 10 million condoms. It's called the Condom Nation Tour.
The event is sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Organizers say they hope to increase prevention of HIV and AIDS.
"One of the things we are trying to do with the tour is get condoms into people's hands, reduce that stigma and hopefully start that conversation about HIV and STDs," said James Vellequette with the Condom Nation Tour.
By the end of its tour, the big rig, filled with condoms will make a six-month, 40 city, 25 state free condom tour. It's also teaming up with organizations to offer education and testing.
"We have to have this conversation as tough as it may be," said Lisa Wigfall, CEO of Quality Home Care Services
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Carolina is among 10 states with the highest HIV infection rate. In the Mecklenburg County area, the infection rate is even higher.
"There are six new infections a week," said Wigfall.
The CDC estimates there are nearly 35,000 people in the state living with HIV and AIDS. Wigfall says there are also many people who don't know they are infected.
"Stigma plagues a community in not getting tested," said Wigfall.
"When you don't know, you're harming someone else especially when you are out in the community having unprotected sex," said Devondia Roseborough.
Roseborough found out she was HIV positive 13 years ago.
"I was promiscuous, it prompted me to take an HIV test after everything else failed when I went to the doctors," said Roseborough.
Today, the Charlotte mother spends her time telling her story and taking part in efforts like the Condom Nation Tour in hopes of saving at least one life.
The Condom Nation Tour will make stops in Fayetteville and Durham later this year.