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HIV and AIDS are taking a particularly painful toll on the Latino community, as rates among this group are much higher than the general population. In order to address this problem, the New York Department of Health recently announced that it is observing Latino HIV Testing Month this July.
Officials from the department said that Latinos make up 17 percent of the state's population, yet they account for 32 percent of all newly diagnosed HIV cases. One of the best ways to put an end to the rapid spread of the infection among the community is for more individuals to seek HIV testing.
"Being tested for HIV allows people to learn their status and get treatment if necessary, which also protects the health of their partners and families," said State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said. "Obtaining health services early, when care and treatment is most effective, is the best way to combat HIV and AIDS."
State agencies that work with the Latino community are urging people to seek HIV testing and the state agency is making more information available to those who may be interested in getting screened as part of the prevention month.
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