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North Carolina Recognizes National HIV Testing Day

HIV testing events are planned statewide

Release Date: June 23, 2009
Contact: Carol Schriber, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH – In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, which is Saturday, June 27, many organizations across the state will be conducting HIV testing events. These tests are free, and some organizations are offering free items just for getting tested.

Events are planned for several cities, including Durham, Wilmington, Rocky Mount and New Bern. A complete list of testing events can be found at www.getrealgettested.com . Some of these events will offer rapid HIV tests, which produce a result in less than 30 minutes.

For those who may not be able to get to an event, or if there is not a local event planned, free HIV and syphilis tests are also offered by local health departments and community-based organizations across the state. To find organizations that offer HIV testing in your area, go to www.hivtest.org. Local health departments are also listed in phone books and on the Web at www.ncalhd.org/county.htm.

“North Carolina continues to see large numbers of new diagnoses of HIV each year. In 2007, over 2,000 new cases were diagnosed and reported”, said Dr. Jeff Engel, State Health Director. “HIV testing is now part of routine medical care. An HIV test is recommended for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64."

Over 33,000 North Carolinians are infected with HIV disease. Up to one-third of them may not know that they are HIV positive. An average of 1,900 new HIV cases are reported in North Carolina each year. Approximately 30% of the new AIDS cases being reported are individuals who are in the final or late stages of the disease.

National HIV Testing Day was developed in response to the growing number of HIV infections in communities of color and other heavily impacted communities. Today, CDC estimates approximately 250,000 Americans are living with HIV but unaware of their HIV status.