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Groups look to make HIV testing more available

Category: HIV

Seeking HIV testing is one of the most important things a person can do to stop the spread of the infection, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In an effort to help get more individuals tested, the agency is sponsoring National Latino Aids Awareness Day, which will take place Friday, October 15. Public health groups across the country are running programs to reach out to the Latino community and help them access testing.

For example, the City of El Paso Department of Public health recently announced that it will be offering free HIV testing on Friday, according to local NBC affiliate KTSM.

"The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious threat to the Hispanic community. Many may not realize that Latinos with HIV progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group," Irene Ovalle, a program coordinator with the group, told the news source. "The HIV Prevention Program’s goal is to reach all Latinos in the El Paso area by increasing access to free HIV testing."

While Hispanics make up 15 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 19 percent of HIV infections, according to the CDC.

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