We are so excited to introduce you to Caracole, our first Pride Sponsor in the HISTORY of Hillsboro Pride! With their help, not only is this year's Pride in the Park being made a possibility, but their resources for the LGBTQ+ community help guarantee we will all be coming back to Pride for many years to come!
The stigma around STIs (sexual transmitted infections) is bad enough as it is. Unfortunately, that stigma worsens when discussing prevention and treatment surrounding HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Hillsboro Pride Ohio is ready for that stigma to end, and we aren't alone!
Caracole, based out of Cincinnati, is "an AIDS service organization providing comprehensive HIV prevention, housing and case management services... Founded in 1987, Caracole started as a small, non-medical hospice for people dying of AIDS. Over the decades as the disease and diagnosis changed, [they've] played an essential role in helping people live well—and thrive—with HIV."
No matter where you are in your sexual wellness journey, Caracole is here to help. Their free HIV testing is confidential, and some testing can be done from the comfort of your home. Free of costs doesn't always mean free of worry. Oftentimes it can be easy to avoid testing out of fear of what the results might be and how that can affect daily life. No matter your results, Caracole has resources for you. From information about safer sex practices, preventative medication, HIV treatment, housing, or health insurance assistance, you won't feel alone in any step of the process.
"I know that when I first became sexually active, I wasn't the smartest in my decision making around safe sex practices or preventative medication. In 2020, Caracole offered me free HIV testing, information about PrEP, help in finding a healthcare provider that fit my needs and my comfort level, and assistance in signing up for PAPI so that the cost of PrEP wasn't so high I couldn't afford it. Most importantly, they made me feel safe, seen, and valued from start to finish. If you haven't been tested recently or ever and you want to know where to turn, I implore you to turn to Caracole. I can honestly say they changed my life for the better, and now I take my sexual health and the sexual health of others seriously."
-- Jerry Bailey, Hillsboro Pride Ohio President
If you have more questions about Caracole, what they do, or how you can utilize their resources in your wellness journey, please visit them at caracole.org. You'll be glad you did!