SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Dozens walked through Springfield's North End Thursday night to honor those who lost their lives to HIV and Aids.
It's the 15th year the Gandara Center has sponsored the vigil. It highlights the need for the city to focus on HIV awareness.
The Department of Public Health estimates that the prevalence of HIV is four times higher in Springfield than the rest of the state.
Terry Rodriguez, the New North Citizens’ Council, told 22News, "We have a lot of people that are living with HIV or Hep C that don't know where they stand and have never been tested."
"That's the main focus for us to make sure we raise awareness so that people know there's not a cure for HIV and AIDS yet and we have to get protected and tested," said Wildally Colon of the Community Correct Program.
The program supervisor for Project Health told 22News the focus now is on the Latino community because Hispanics progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group.