Southern Illinois AIDS Walk to be held in Carbondale

A walk to benefit the Southern Illinois AIDS Holiday Project, which buys gifts and gift cards for low-income households affected by HIV/AIDS in the region, will be held Saturday morning at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. 

The Southern Illinois AIDS Walk will be held starting at 11 a.m. at the SIUC Newman Center at 715 South Washington St. in Carbondale. Registration for the walk and a health fair will start at 10 a.m., and organizers say free HIV testing will be provided at the event. The featured speaker at the event will be Dr. Ricardo Postigo, who will discuss HIV and AIDS in southern Illinois. He is an infectious disease specialist at the Heartland Regional Medical Center of Marion, and his remarks will start at 10:30 a.m.

HIV Care Connect will accept donations of personal hygiene and household cleaning supplies during the event. The program is at the Jackson County Health Department, and it helps HIV-positive clients in the southernmost 19 counties of Illinois. The Southern Illinois AIDS Holiday Project also benefits those counties.

Items HIV Care Connect needs include shampoo, toilet paper, conditioner, paper towels, deodorant, laundry detergent, bath soap, bleach, dish soap, trash bags, toothpaste, razors, toothbrushes, shaving cream, tampons and menstrual pads, kleenex, sandwich bags and Clorox or other similar disinfecting wipes.You can drop off those items at the Newman Center through April 4. 

You can also make donations to the AIDS walk online by clicking here or by mail to: AIDS Walk c/o Wally Paynter, 908 Oak Street Apt. B, Carmi, IL 62821.

For more information about the event, you can contact Wally Paynter at 812-480-0204,, or visit the Southern Illinois AIDS Coalition Facebook page.

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