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Despite the fact that many experts say HIV testing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread the infection, many individuals still feel as though there is a stigma against talking about sexual health. This may reduce the rates of testing.
In order to combat these misconceptions, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago recently held a series of events to raise awareness of the problem and to encourage more individuals to seek HIV testing, according to Chicago Now.
Organizers pointed to recently released statistics from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that large numbers of people who are infected with the virus are unaware of their status. Numbers were particularly high among men who have sex with men.
"There's still a stigma and it keeps people from getting tested," Gregory Gross, clinical manager of the HIV testing and prevention program at the Center on Halsted, told the news source. "There's anxiety about talking about sex in general."
Of the more than 1 million people who are living with HIV in the U.S., the CDC estimates that as many as 20 percent are unaware that they are infected.
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