NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A local Olympian was on hand in Norfolk Saturday to take part in World Aids Day.
Many gathered at the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk for the first public demonstration of new home testing kits for HIV. Organizers say it's easy to use and accurate results can be received in 20 minutes.
Olympian LaShawn Merritt was in attendance to help get the word out.
"There's not a lot of guidance," Merritt told WAVY.com. "Practicing safe sex and abstinence is the way to go these days because it's dangerous out there."
The event was sponsored by TeenAIDS-PeerCorps, a non-profit organization specializing in educating teens and young adults about the risks of HIV and AIDS.
Dr. John Chittick with the organization told WAVY.com over 400 young people showed up to the event and many were tested for HIV and STIs.
"It was wonderful that so many area youth came out to be tested because Norfolk is now ranked number one for AIDS in Virginia," Chittick said. "We appreciate that Olympic Gold Medalist LaShawn Merritt, Mayor Paul Fraim and State Senator Ralph Northam spoke to the young attendees."
It's estimated the 34 million people in the world have HIV. 25 million people have died from the disease since 1981.
Some local families who lost a loved one during active duty military service boarded a special flight out of Norfolk Thursday morning.
Thousands of EMTs and paramedics checked their bank accounts Thursday for one last scheduled payment from the company that suddenly laid them off, but found nothing.
A Newport News man is charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl.