Local and Community News
New York: Campaign Urges Testing for HIV
June 16, 2003
As New York Department of Health statistics show that more than half of the 2,000 Capital region residents living with HIV/AIDS do not know their status, area health and service agencies have launched a campaign to encourage more people to get tested for HIV.Adapted from:
The campaign was organized by the Capital District Take the Test Coalition, a consortium of agencies. It uses the slogan "HIV stops with me. Does it stop with you?" and includes an outreach day on June 21, in which volunteers from nine service agencies will convene at Albany's Damien Center, a social and support group for people living with HIV/AIDS, to collect posters and fliers for distribution. Throughout the following week, free HIV testing clinics will be held around the region.
Service providers said they face a number of obstacles in reaching out to people who need to be tested. People have trouble getting to clinics. They believe misinformation -- like they cannot get HIV from having unprotected sex only once. Or they are afraid of learning they have the virus -- fearing both the disease and discrimination. Albany resident Harry Jarvis, 34, has known he is HIV-positive for 10 years, but hid his status at work until last year because he feared discrimination, he said.
More blacks and Hispanics are getting the virus than in the past, particularly women and young men, said Johanne Morne, who directs an HIV education program at the Whitney M. Young Health Center. Young people are at increasing risk, too, as they are becoming sexually active as early as 12 or 13 years old, said Blue Carreker, a spokesperson for Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.
Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
06.12.03; Claire Hughes
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.