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CDC to offer free HIV testing in 10 cities
 
 
  Posted: 02:35 PM ET
 
By Val Willingham CNN Medical Producer
 
One in five of the more than 1 million HIV-infected Americans don't know it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help people know their status for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, the agency has declared the first "Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested" week and will offer free testing in 10 cities.
 
Beginning June 19, testing will be made available in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Newark, New Jersey; New York City and Washington, D.C. The week leads up to National HIV Testing Day, June 27.
 
Anyone interested can log on to www.GYTNOW.org to find locations. Also, many Planned Parenthood offices across the country offer free testing for all STDs. Celebrities including Ciara, Kelly Rowland, MTV's Sway Calloway and New Boyz will urge young people to take action to know their status in a series of new TV and radio public service ads produced by MTV in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
 
"Nearly 4,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with HIV each year," said Dr. Monica Sweeney, assistant commissioner for HIV/AIDS at the NYC Health Department. "Nearly a quarter of them are already sick with AIDS - meaning they may have gone undiagnosed for a decade or more. Knowing your HIV status is one of the best things you can do for your health and to stop the spread of HIV. "People who test negative can learn how to stay that way by practicing safer sex," she says. "People who test positive can get the treatment they need and take special precautions to avoid infecting others."
 
Beyond the 10 cities, users can navigate the site's testing location finder to identify local resources anywhere in the country by simply entering a ZIP code. The site also offers a multitude of resources including facts about STDs and talking tips on how to discuss STD testing with partners, parents, and health care providers.
 
"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"
 
 
 
 
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