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Groups work to encourage more HIV testing

Category: HIV

Few American cities have as high HIV rates as Baltimore. The disease has reached epidemic proportions in the city, prompting community groups to call for more individuals to seek an HIV test.

Volunteers from the JACQUES Initiative, a project started by the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland, recently held rallies to encourage more testing. Representatives of the group said that Baltimore has at least 14 clinics that offer free HIV testing, and that people who are at risk should be taking advantage of these opportunities.

"The AIDS/HIV epidemic that is occurring in our country is one which has managed to remain relatively underreported, despite the fact that it affects millions each year," said Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings. "We can work harder, and do much better in combating this terrible disease, which has particularly been a scourge on the streets of Baltimore."

He added that city health officials are working with community and faith-based groups to encourage more testing amount their members. He believes that this approach will result in more HIV testing, which could lower the rates of infection.

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