Springfield-Greene County Advocates For HIV Testing Recognized

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Springfield-Greene County Health Department partners with AIDS Project of the Ozarks to recognize six individuals who have chosen to speak out in an effort to encourage Ozark residents to get tested for HIV.

Despite the stigma that has historically been attached to HIV/AIDS, these six people who are living with HIV decided their voices must be heard. Their television public service announcement currently playing across southwest Missouri encourages people to recognize that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate and to get tested. The health department honored them at a special ceremony.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 million Americans are currently living with HIV. Of those, an estimated 24% do not even know they are infected. HIV/AIDS is a public health crisis.

Advances in medication have allowed people with HIV/AIDS to live longer, but before they can start treatment, they must know they are infected. Testing is the only way to learn their status.

On June 27th, the health department joins APO in observing the 15th annual National HIV Testing Day with extended testing hours. Testing will be offered from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at AIDS Project of the Ozarks, located at 1901 E. Bennett in Springfield. HIV testing is also available on a regular basis at the health department, located at 227 E. Chestnut Expressway in Springfield.

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