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National News

AIDS Groups Stress Early Detection

June 26, 2003

An estimated one-third of Americans who have HIV do not know it, so Michigan-based HIV agencies hope that Friday's National HIV Testing Day helps get out the word that there are many places to be tested quickly, anonymously and free.

Statistics suggest the problem of people not knowing they have HIV is getting worse, at least at publicly funded health departments and community-based testing sites. In 1998, 69,253 state residents were tested; that number decreased to 59,140 in 2001. "I think a lot of people have gotten tested and don't feel that they are at continued risk and don't feel they need to get tested again," said Debra Szwejda, manager of HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention at the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Community Health Awareness Group, a community AIDS organization in Detroit, will be offering a health fair and free testing from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday across the street from its center at 3028 E. Grand Blvd. to encourage people to get tested, said Executive Director Cindy Bolden Calhoun. The site will be using rapid testing, a newly Food and Drug Administration-approved method that involves a finger-prick blood sample. It yields results in 20 minutes.

AIDS Partnership Michigan is devoting its resources for a weeklong campaign to publicize its hotline and testing sites, says Lillian Piersante, prevention education director. The free test it uses is OraSure, which takes a sample of oral mucus. Results are available from five to 10 days later.

"We want to make sure people know why they're being tested and how the virus is transmitted. And also to get a commitment from them that they will come back to get their results," Piersante said.

Back to other CDC news for June 26, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Detroit Free Press
06.24.03; Rasha Madkour

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
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