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U.S. News

Louisiana Testing Tour to Offer HIV Tests, Counseling

June 27, 2011

On Saturday, Louisiana launched its "State of Awareness" HIV testing tour, a week-long traveling campaign bringing free testing events to cities throughout the state. The effort, which is jointly produced by the state Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) HIV/AIDS program and the Black AIDS Institute, coincides with Monday's designation as National HIV Testing Day.

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"National Testing Day is one more step to normalizing testing and reducing the stigma attached to HIV," said Timothy Young, executive director of the HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two Inc. "The only way to cure HIV ultimately is for no one else to catch it. For that to happen, people need to know their status."

Black residents account for 32 percent of Louisiana's population, but they represented 75 percent of new HIV cases in 2010, DHH officials said. The state ranks fifth-highest in the nation for its AIDS case rate, according to 2009 CDC data. In the nine-parish Baton Rouge metropolitan area, 30.6 people per 100,000 have AIDS -- the nation's second-highest rate, after Miami. Expanded testing efforts can help prevent new AIDS cases and reduce people's HIV risks going forward, Young said.

Inaugurated in Shreveport, the HIV testing tour will include visits to Opelousas and Baton Rouge. Participants will have a chance to win tickets for a five-day cruise, as well as admission to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, where the testing tour wraps up over the Independence Day weekend.

For more information, telephone 800-992-4379 or visit www.hiv411.org.

Back to other news for June 2011

Adapted from:
The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
06.25.2011; Steven Ward


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More HIV Testing News on Southern U.S. States

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