Summa Health System Offers Free HIV Testing

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On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, Summa Health System will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its HIV Specialty Center for AIDS Research and Education (CARE) and offer free HIV testing to employees, patients and community.

In 1988, CARE began providing state-of-the-art consultation and treatment services to patients with HIV. As the only dedicated HIV center in the Akron community, Summa has served thousands of patients throughout the years with the latest approved and developmental treatment modalities in this rapidly changing specialty.

In 2005, it was renamed the Darleen C. Claypoole CARE Center in honor of a nurse who dedicated 17 years of her life managing the center. For more information, call 330-375-4851.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximates that 25 percent of HIV-positive people - more than 250,000 Americans - do not know they are infected. Reinforcing the importance of early detection and treatment, it also updated its guidelines in 2006 to include HIV testing as part of every individual's routine healthcare.

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Additionally, according to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, the HIV epidemic has stabilized on a global scale but there still are unacceptably high levels of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths.

* Approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV in 2007.

* Globally, an estimated 33 million people were living with HIV in 2007.

* In 2007 there were 2.7 million new HIV infections and 2 million HIV-related deaths across the globe.

* While the percentage of people living with HIV has stabilized since 2000, the overall number of people living with HIV has steadily increased as new infections occur each year, HIV treatments extend life, and as new infections still outnumber AIDS deaths.

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