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Pillar program supervisor making a difference in the lives of many

Aracely Perez has made it her mission to reach out to anyone in need of an HIV test and helping those with the process
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 9:53 AM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -One of the many challenges that have arisen during the pandemic is keeping up with medical preventative care not related to COVID-19.

A program supervisor at Pillar has made it her mission to continue to reach out to anyone in need of an HIV test.

Aracely Perez says when it comes to HIV, a lot of people do not want to know their status.

She says someone came in for an STD test but was not ready for an HIV test.

It’s cases like this that Perez feels the most compassionate for.

Perez says she talked to him about his feelings and was able to convince him to take the HIV test.

She said it’s better to know than wait.

Perez knows there are many resources available for those who test positive for HIV, the trick, is finding those people so she can give them hope.

Perez says, “When he saw the HIV test, he just looked at me and he kind of panicked, and I said, ‘you’re going to be fine’.”

Words she says with conviction to everyone who steps through the doors at Pillar because of the empathy she feels for people who are scared and feeling alone.

Pillar says it’s those moments when you really touched someone that mean the most to them.

It was not too long ago that Aracely herself needing people to lean on.

Perez says, “I went through a lot of domestic violence, so it’s kind of like I never told my mom, and so you want somebody to talk to, yet you can’t so I imagine this man was feeling the same you know like wanting to speak to someone for something he had done, which it’s like I told him, we’re all human.”

And it’s that human touch that will help people get through their own personal battles that don’t stop for a global pandemic.

Because if one life can be saved, that’s when you know you’re making a difference.

If you know someone who wants or needs to get tested for HIV, Pillar provides free testing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. and on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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