In an effort to end HIV/AIDS in Tennessee, 17 Belmont University College of Pharmacy students recently volunteered and received intensive training in HIV prevention counseling and testing. The Tennessee Department of Health certified these students who will be using their newly acquired skills to serve communities around Nashville through HIV testing, education and prevention during the annual Walgreens National HIV Testing Days event scheduled for June 23-25.
Dr. Edgar S. Diaz-Cruz is leading the initiative, first started in 2013, and has forged an ongoing partnership between the College of Pharmacy and Nashville Cares, a local non-profit that provides life-saving services to Middle Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS. Diaz-Cruz said, “I am very proud of our students for volunteering to reach out of their comfort zones to serve the community by bringing attention to HIV/AIDS education. I believe this type of training and personal outreach exposes our students to unique experiences to better serve the public and represent BU.” Since 2013, this partnership has resulted in 44 trained individuals and hundreds of community service outreach hours serving Middle Tennessee.