Raising AIDS awareness with basketball

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The AIDS advocacy group Care Team is using basketball to help fight HIV.

Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg County makes up about eight percent of all new AIDS cases in South Carolina between 2009 and 2010, totaling 1,572 cases.

Care Team Prevention Program Manager April Dawson said about forty percent of the new HIV cases involve 13-29 year-olds, which is why the group chose to sponsor a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Conway on Saturday to raise awareness.

"We just want to have the tournament be a fun community event to encourage individuals to get tested and find out more about HIV," Dawson said.

The basketball tournament is free to anyone who receives an HIV test before the tournament begins; otherwise it costs $60. The grand prize for the winning team is $500.

South Carolina ranks eighth in the country in new HIV case rates, a number Dawson says they would like to help lower. South Carolina is also one of nine southeastern states that, according to an AIDS United study, has a comparatively low number of AIDS medical specialists. It's why Dawson says Care Team offers free HIV screens to anyone over the age of sixteen.

The basketball tournament will also feature blood pressure checks, glucose checks, and pregnancy prevention information.

Details for the event are posted below:

Care Team 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament

Smith Jones Park, Conway, SC

Saturday June 23, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Entry Fee: $60

Grand Prize: $500

Entry fee waived if entire team submits to HIV/AIDS test prior to tournament

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