North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kodi Kinsley — along with a variety of community partners from the North Carolina AIDS Action Network, Mecklenburg County Public Health and Livingstone College — will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. to discuss the importance of HIV/AIDS education and awareness, and to help reduce the stigma associated with the disease.

The town hall is being held in conjunction with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and one goal of the discussion is to encourage more people to get tested rather than avoid those tests due to the stigma that can still be attached to the disease in 2023.

State health officials, in a press release announcing the event, stated that there’s a “critical need” to reduce stigma around HIV so that people are more likely to get tested and seek treatment.

During the virtual town hall, speakers will also discuss efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

In addition, there will be a special focus on HIV/AIDS in the black community. Some of the best practices Mecklenburg County and Livingstone College use to address the African-American community will be presented.

Everyone from the general public to medical professionals are encouraged to watch, ask questions and contribute to the conversation.

If you wish to attend, aim your computer’s browser to   Those who would rather participate by phone can dial +1 (872) 240-3311  and use access code: 339-621-365.

In addition to Kinsley, other speakers include Mecklenburg Public Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington, Livingstone College President Anthony Davis and

Dr. Victoria Mobley, the HIV/STI medical director with NC Department of Health and Human Services.