County To Host Health & Wellness Festival

The Palm Beach County Community Services Department Ryan White Program and the Palm Beach County HIV CARE Council will host the third annual Communitywide Health & Wellness Festival, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Loading Ramp, located at 524 SW Avenue C Place, Belle Glade.

The festival is free and open to the public and will feature HIV and hepatitis testing, health screenings and linkage to services, insurance enrollment opportunities, prizes and more.

More than 8,500 Palm Beach County residents are living with HIV, and one new infection occurs almost every day. In all communities, lack of awareness of HIV status, stigma and discrimination contribute to the risk of acquiring the virus.

Last year, more than 350 individuals participated in the festival. The event is a significant resource platform to increase awareness and educate the public on HIV, AIDS and the prevention of other sexually transmitted infections, as well as provide linkage to social services programs and information on behavioral health and substance abuse disorders.

“This festival focuses on engaging our diverse population and assists them with access and linkage to care services,” Palm Beach County HIV CARE Council Chair Chris Dowden said. “We continue our efforts to reduce HIV-related health disparities and assure adequate treatment and support services are accessible to the most vulnerable populations.”

The Palm Beach County HIV CARE Council’s vision is to create a community where individuals with HIV/AIDS can live without prejudice, abandonment or social stigma and are provided with a comprehensive range of medical and support services that assure their wellness, independence and self-sufficiency.

To register for the festival, visit For more information about the event, e-mail Neeta Mahani at