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California: Experts Say Most People Are Still Reluctant to Get HIV Test

November 29, 2007

Despite the fact that early diagnosis and treatment can help HIV-positive people live longer, healthier lives, most people are still reluctant to get tested, a panel of experts said Monday during a World AIDS Day event at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

The meeting also spotlighted a $716,000 CDC grant that will support expanded HIV prevention, testing, and treatment at three Bay Area hospitals: Highland and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, and San Francisco General Hospital.

"We no longer need to lose a single individual to AIDS," said Dr. Kathleen Clanon, medical director of the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center and a physician at the Alameda County Medical Center. "We are living in miracle times," she said, touting the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment to forestall AIDS.

Nevertheless, about 40 percent of US residents who learn they are HIV-positive progress to AIDS within one year, said Dr. Steven O'Brien, medical director of the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center's East Bay AIDS Center.

Doctors at the meeting praised the recent passage into law of Assembly Bill 682, which eliminates the requirement for specific written consent for an HIV test.

"Get Screened Oakland" is offering a number of events this weekend to promote HIV testing. Mayor Ron Dellums has joined the effort and is encouraging the city's citizens to undergo testing.

Back to other news for November 2007

Adapted from:
Contra Costa Times
11.27.2007; Barbara Grady

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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.
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