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Given the fact that HIV/AIDS rates are continuing to increase, the importance of HIV testing has never been greater. However, due to budgetary concerns, some local and state governments are considering slashing funding for disease prevention programs.
North Carolina state representative Larry Brown is the latest to propose cutting funding for HIV prevention and treatment programs. He told the Winston-Salem Journal that he believes that most of the people with the disease contracted it through lifestyle decisions they made, and that they should bear the consequences of their actions, rather than taxpayers.
"I'm not opposed to helping a child born with HIV or something, but I don't condone spending taxpayers' money to help people living in perverted lifestyles," he told the news source.
His comments have drawn outrage from gay-rights groups, who feel that his comments were directed toward them.
Regardless of the political debate, the need for more HIV testing has never been stronger. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that as many 20 percent of those infected with the disease are unaware of their condition. The agency has called screening one of the most effective methods for stopping the spread of the infection.
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