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HIV rates remain stubbornly high, and public health agencies are grappling with the problem with mixed results. But a new initiative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may get more people to seek STD testing and limit the spread of the infection.
The initiative involves providing funding to local health departments, according to USA Today. Over the course of the next five years, local agencies will receive $359 million annually to offer STD testing, education and distribute condoms.
The CDC is also preparing to launch an awareness campaign that is targeted at homosexual and African American men, two groups known to be at a much higher risk of contracting the infection, the news source reports.
There has been a significant amount of progress made in the fight against HIV in recent years. Infection rates have plateaued and people with the disease are living longer than ever. But agency officials said that this has created a need to fight complacency.
Estimates from the CDC indicate that more than 1 million Americans are currently infected with HIV. Furthermore, 20 percent of these individuals are unaware of their condition.
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