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Many experts say that HIV testing is the most effective way to stop the spread of the incurable infection. In an effort to make testing more available, public health departments across the country offer the procedure free of charge.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health recently held an event in which individuals could receive a free HIV test that reported their results within 20 minutes, according to the Fort Wayne Daily News.
Gregory Manifold, executive director of the AIDS Task Force in Fort Wayne, told the news source that this encourages people to come in for testing regardless of whether they think they are at risk for the disease.
"The important thing to be aware of is you can be infected for a long, long time before you show any symptoms. You can be spreading the virus and you don't even know it," Manifold said. "Forget about a particular population or identity and focus on your risky behavior."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 56,000 people contracted the infection in 2006, many of whom are unaware that they are carrying the disease.
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