Earlier today, June 25, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D–Calif.) along with Representatives Maxine Waters (D–Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D–DC), Donna M. Christensen (D–Virgin Islands) and the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), gathered on the House Triangle in Washington, DC, to encourage HIV testing in anticipation of National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

“Now is the time to take action, raise awareness and educate people on how to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS,” said Lee. “We have to do a better job of dispelling the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS and the anxiety involving the test itself and encourage people to get tested. At the same time we have to equip our young people with the tools to protect themselves from getting infected to begin with.”

Following the press conference, Prevention Works—a DC-based harm reduction organization—offered free rapid HIV testing in addition to pre- and post-test counseling to all in attendance.