November 27, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

Free HIV testing will be offered to the public Saturday in observance of World AIDS Day.

The Center for Human Developments public health nurses will provide the testing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hoke Center on the Eastern Oregon University campus. Registration is not necessary, and those being tested may remain anonymous.

World AIDS Day events are coordinated in Union County by the AIDS Education Council of Eastern Oregon.

In addition to the free HIV testing, the council will sponsor a candlelight vigil at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Loso Hall Steps at EOU. The council will have candles for all who participate.

Dawn Roe, executive director of the education council, said vigil participants will be invited to speak.

The purpose of World AIDS Day is to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS globally and in the United States. This years theme is I CareDo You?

HIV is human immunodeficiency virus, a retrovirus causing AIDS.

The education council offers a Web site with a chat room so that people with HIV can talk to others and maintain their anonymity. The Web site is

The council, which has a library of information about HIV/AIDS, has offered free HIV testing and counseling at five locations in Eastern Oregon.

We usually try to work with the public health departments in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties, Roe said.

In addition to testing, the council offers education sessions to the community. Organizations that want a presentation should call the council at 963-0306.