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Press Release
Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week Promotes Free HIV Testing June 19-27, 2010
Ciara, Kelly Rowland, MTV's Sway Calloway and New Boyz Join Effort to Help Get Out the Word about HIV and STD Testing

June 16, 2010

New York, NY -- The first Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week will kick off on June 19th, calling on Americans, especially young people, to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the week leading up to National HIV Testing Day (June 27th). The campaign will spotlight 10 cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, and Washington D.C. -- where free testing is available and other special events are taking place.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), one in five of the more than one million Americans living with HIV aren't aware that they have it. HIV and other more common STDs often show no symptoms and thus frequently go undiagnosed. Testing and treatment can save lives and reduce the further spread of HIV and other STDs.

The special week long promotion brings together GYT: Get Yourself Tested, a year-round campaign spearheaded by MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the CDC and Planned Parenthood to increase testing for STDs, including HIV, among young people, and Greater Than AIDS, a national movement launched last year by Kaiser and the Black AIDS Institute to respond to the domestic AIDS crisis, in particular the disproportionate epidemic facing Black Americans. Gilead Sciences provided financial resources to support the promotion.

"Testing is about community. We will never get the HIV epidemic under control until everyone understands that we are all in this together," said Frank Oldham, Jr., President and CEO of the National Association of People With AIDS. "Getting tested should be part of every American's routine health care, from adolescence through senior years, and no one should be stopped from getting tested by fear or shame."

Elements of Be Greater than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week include:

Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week is supported by the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA), which launched the first National HIV Testing Day in 1995, along the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). State and local health departments identified free testing locations and are helping to support the effort with additional outreach and special events.

For more information about Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week, visit www.GYTNOW.org.




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