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Friday is National HIV Testing Day

Friday June 27th, is National HIV Testing Day.

The Florida Department of Health is urging all Floridians between the ages of 13 and 64 to be tested for HIV, the virus that causes the disease known as AIDS.

Last year, of the over 10,000 people who received the test, 80 were positive for HIV. Almost 55 percent of those tested were female, but only 15 tested positive. Of the 44 percent males who elected to have the test, 65 were positive.

Worldwide there are over 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that there are now more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 20 percent of whom (200,000) don't even know they have been infected.

While Florida ranks third in the nation in the number of people living with AIDS, Miami-Dade County has the distinction of being the leader in the number of new AIDS cases per capita and Broward County is ranked as number two.

The good news is that AIDS is no longer the death sentence it was decades ago when it first emerged worldwide. With newer and better drugs, people with the disease can live full lives.

That's why it is important to know your status. Federal health officials recommend at least one test as part of routine care.

Since Friday is National HIV Testing Day, why not just go and get the test.

For more information:

-For a list of sites in Florida where tests are available, click on this link.

-Walgreen's is also offering free testing at various facilities around the state.

- Palm Beach County Health Centers in Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Lantana, and Belle Glade offer HIV testing and will include STD testing from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm on June 27 for walk-ins. Appointments can be made by calling 1-888-438-2778.

- Other events around the state for National HIV Testing Day

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