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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes HIV testing as one of the most effective methods for slowing the spread of the infection. Unfortunately, some individuals may soon start finding it more difficult to access screening.
With state and local communities across the country struggling with major budget deficits, many are looking for programs to cut. HIV testing initiatives are often on the chopping block.
Such was the case in Shelby County, Tennessee, where local lawmakers recently moved to defund Planned Parenthood, which has provided free HIV tests in the community for years, according to local news station WMCTV.
Some have called the move politically motivated, as many members of the local government object to the family planning services provided by the facility. However, HIV activists have expressed concern about the effect the move will have sexually transmitted disease rates.
"There are high infection rates in a lot of demographics in this city," Will Batts, executive director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, told the news source. "We need more testing in this city so people find out if they're positive or not so they can get into care."
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