New York: Local Initiative Encourages Free AIDS Testing
June 6, 2005
The AIDS Network of Western New York, a consortium of health service providers specializing in HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment, recognized June as National HIV Testing Month with an initiative targeting the more than 3,000 HIV-positive people in the region who are either unaware of their status or are not receiving services.
"We need to break down the barriers of fear in getting tested," said Christopher Voltz of AIDS Community Services (ACS) of Western New York. Voltz hopes the month-long campaign will help bring some of those people into treatment. Free testing will be available at numerous locations throughout the eight counties of Western New York.
At a Friday morning news conference at Elim Christian Fellowship in Central Park Plaza, the Rev. Dexter MacIlwain encouraged testing and called on area churches to get involved in the effort. Charles Hunter, a spokesperson for ACS' "Getting Tested Saved My Life" prevention campaign and the state Department of Health AIDS Institute's "HIV Stops With Me" campaign, also addressed the crowd. State Sen. Byron Brown (D-Buffalo) read a proclamation for National HIV Testing Month. And a performance by the KIPP African drum and dance team reflected the event's hopeful theme.
For additional information on testing dates and locations, telephone 800-541-2437.
06.04.05; Louise Continelli
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