Obama, Municipalities Honor AIDS Testing Day
June 28, 2010
President Barack Obama used National HIV Testing Day to call on businesses, faith groups, scientists, academia, and philanthropic organizations to fight against HIV.
The statement noted that most new infections are spread by persons who are unaware they have the virus -- a status that describes approximately one in five of the 1.1 million Americans with HIV.
"Research shows that people who know their status take better care of themselves and take steps to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others. That is why it is so important that people get tested," the statement said.
In a related development, the New York Senate voted 42-10 for a bill that would require providers in most health care settings to offer HIV testing to patients ages 13-64, according to the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). The companion Assembly bill also is expected to be approved.
"Offering an HIV test to adults seeking health care will decrease stigma," said Marjorie J. Hill, CEO of GMHC. By making it an easier process, the number of people getting tested will increase dramatically. Ultimately, the bill will allow more New Yorkers to take charge of their health and access the treatment and care they need," she said.
The full text of the president's remarks is found at www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/statement-president-national-hiv-testing-day.
06.25.2010; Michelle Garcia
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