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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Take an HIV test.

Right now, the 17th annual International AIDS Conference is going on in Mexico City. While there has been encouraging news coming out of the meeting, many of the reports focus on the serious challenges HIV and AIDS present. Thankfully, HIV infection is generally preventable.

* Use safer sex practices. That means a barrier method - condoms, dental dams.
* Don't use IV drugs. Other than abstinence, a new, sterile needle is the best way to prevent HIV transmission.
* Get tested before you get pregnant or very early in your pregnancy.

Most everyone should get tested for HIV and learn their status. Here's how to get started:

* Visit hivtest.org and enter your zip code to find an HIV testing site near you.
* Call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), 1-888-232-6348 (TTY), in English or en EspaƱol. Lines are open 24/7 and calls are confidential.
* Text your zip code to KnowIt or 566948 to find an HIV testing site near you.

Everyone should know their status. If you're positive, you can start treatment to stay healthy and extend your life. You can also take steps to make sure you don't transmit HIV. If you're negative, you can take steps to make sure you stay that way. Learn more from the CDC.

There are many new HIV tests available. Some can give rapid results in as short as 20 minutes. Some test only oral fluids and don't require a needle or blood draw. Many can be done anonymously (no name or false name (like Minnie Mouse) is fine) or confidentially (your name is held secret). Many testing services are FREE and insurance covers some others.

There's no excuse. Get tested, today. Take ControlKnow Your HIV Status?

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back." - Arthur Rubinstein

2 comments:

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