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DOH Announces HIV Testing Initiative In The Bronx

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TWC News: DOH Announces HIV Testing Initiative In The Bronx
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The city announced yesterday the launch of an ambitious HIV-testing initiative in the Bronx.

The Department of Health is teaming up with community-based organizations in a three-year effort to test all Bronx residents between the ages of 18 and 64 for HIV. The testing is for those who have never been tested or have not been tested in the last year.

The voluntary testing will take place in emergency rooms and storefront clinics.

The Health Department says the Bronx has the highest death rate from AIDS in the entire city, in part because many do not know they have the disease until it's too late to get effective treatment.

According to the most recent statistics compiled by the Health Department, 250,000 Bronx residents between the ages of 18-64 have never been tested for HIV. About one in four people with HIV do not know they are infected.

Health officials say the goal is to get Bronx residents better access to quality care and prevention services.

"We also need legislation that supports and encourages individuals to be tested," said Dr. Marjorie Hill, chief executive officer of the Gay Men's Health Crisis. "And we are disappointed that the New York State Legislature missed an opportunity to really increase and enforce routine offering of HIV testing in New York State."

The campaign begins tomorrow, which has been designated National HIV Testing Day.
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