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Negative stigmas surround many sexually transmitted diseases, and these can interfere with an individual's desire to seek HIV testing. In order to encourage more people to seek screening, groups across the country are working to dispel the myths associated with testing.
For example, the Triangle AIDS group of Beaumont, Texas recently held an event that distributed information about the disease to the community and invited individuals who are living with HIV or AIDS to share their experiences with the public, according to local CBS affiliate KFDM.
"People's attitudes are shifting," William Boyd, one of the event's organizers, told the news source. "They're getting to the point where, when they're diagnosed, it's not the end of their life and that's something we encourage."
Speakers said that it is important for sexually active individuals to seek HIV testing, because the disease can be treated more effectively when it is diagnosed early.
Events like this that seek to dispel the stigmas associated with HIV testing may help more of those who are unknowingly infected with the disease seek screening. Some experts, including those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say that testing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the disease.
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