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Press Release

Have You Been Tested? Know Your Status
Free HIV Tests Available as Part of National HIV Testing Day
Contact:
Public Information Office
(603) 271-9391

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Communicable Disease Control and Surveillance
Publish Date:
June 26, 2014

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in collaboration with local testing sites, is offering free, oral HIV tests for New Hampshire residents on Thursday, June 27th, National HIV Testing Day.

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the HIV epidemic, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most commonly spread through unprotected sex, sharing of needles with an HIV-infected person, or transmission from an infected mother to her baby.

New Hampshire continues to see a low incidence of HIV, but unfortunately 50% of newly diagnosed patients go on to be diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months. This means they are accessing care late and often not until they are quite sick and possibly too late for treatment. Sixty-six percent of the people living with AIDS in New Hampshire are 45 years of age or older.

Many strides have been made in the fight against HIV, particularly in the area of medical treatment. People can live for years with HIV infection especially with the proper medication and care. However, it’s important for people to know their HIV status, be diagnosed early, and get linked to physician care to help ensure the best health outcomes.

“It is estimated that 1 in 5 people infected with HIV in the United States don’t know it,” says Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Therefore, it is now recommended that everyone ages 13 to 64 be tested at least once as part of their routine health care.”

On Thursday, June 27th multiple sites across New Hampshire will offer free HIV testing. There is no blood draw needed, and the results are available within 20 minutes. To locate a participating site near you, go to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/std/hivprevention.htm or call the DHHS Infectious Disease Prevention, Investigation and Care Section at 603-271-4502. For more information about HIV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HIVtesting.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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