Azalea Project to hold informational event on HIV, infant mortality

The Azalea Project is raising awareness through a community event that will educate women and families residing in the Springfield area about the prevention of HIV and infant mortality. The community event, funded through Operation New Hope’s EPIC grant program, will be held December 20. Women will receive informational prevention gift baskets and hear from an HIV and infant mortality prevention speaker.

The Azalea Project is an initiative of the Healthy Start Coalition that provides outreach, education and support services to high-risk women of childbearing age. It focuses on substance-involved families whose lifestyle increases their chances of experiencing a myriad of health and social risks, including unsafe sex (STIs⁄HIV), unwanted childbearing, poor school performance, poverty, infant mortality, abuse and neglect and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Services are available for pregnant and parenting women with a history of or who are currently abusing alcohol or other drugs, are of childbearing age (15–44 years old), live in the Springfield area and surrounding zip codes 32204 ,32206, 32208 or 32209, and are at-risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The Azalea Project will use the funding from Operation New Hope to further educate families and women of child bearing age living in the Springfield community on the health and social choices that influence and impact poor birth outcomes. The goal of the project is to decrease infant mortality through educating a community of people.