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An Open Door to HIV Testing
December 7, 2016 | Sandra Gordon; excerpted from Thrivent magazine
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." – Matthew 25:35-36
Meet one Thrivent member who lives out this Scripture daily.
I was sick ...
Helping people get tested for HIV
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, with one in six unaware of their infection.
"We don't have a cure, but if we can identify people with HIV early and get them treated, they can live a long and productive life," says Dr. Karen Krigger, associate professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
Accustomed to helping people in need, even in her off hours, Krigger led her church to initiate Project Compassion, a grant-supported program that provides free HIV screening at the church. It also offers incentives to get people in the door, such as $5 bus tokens.
"Project Compassion was the first place you could walk in and get free, anonymous rapid HIV testing in Louisville," Krigger says.
Over the past four years, 1,000 HIV tests have been given as a result of the program. The project also partners with the local health department to provide incentives for testing via its mobile unit.
Krigger is proud of her church's commitment to serve.
"Our congregation is only 65 people on a given Sunday. But in addition to our HIV outreach activities, we are engaged in several ongoing service activities, such as supporting a food pantry, warm clothing drives and health fairs, because we're committed to taking care of people," she says.
Read this entire article from the February 2015 issue of Thrivent magazine.
Want more inspirational stories of generosity?
Read "Serving Up Hope and Generosity" to see how a Thrivent Action Team helped a family learn more about their son’s rare genetic condition.
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