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HIV testing is a critical exercise for everyone, though it may be slightly more important for women and girls, according to a national organization.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is urging the public to observe the fourth annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, being held around the country tomorrow.
More than 278,000 women and adolescent girls in the U.S. are living with HIV, which accounts for 80 percent of the U.S females carrying the virus, says NIAID.
Early HIV testing can provide counseling and prompt, life-extending treatment. Some potent HIV therapies can also reduce the risk of further HIV transmission by lowering the amount of the virus in one's blood and other bodily fluids.
According to the NIAID, knowing what one's HIV status is can assist women in making informed choices about childbearing as well.
"National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day reminds us of the female face of HIV/AIDS and its challenges. I encourage women and adolescent girls to embrace routine HIV testing, to learn the HIV status of their sexual partners when possible, and to employ safe sex practices," Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said.
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