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Increased funding makes HIV tests more available

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Many experts say that routine STD testing can be one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of diseases, but family health clinics never received funding for HIV testing in many parts of the country, forcing them to refer patients elsewhere.

A recent change of policy in Wyoming, however, allows patients to get a comprehensive STD test, which includes HIV and AIDS, in one stop to a family health clinic.

Jeri Maki of the Wyoming Health Council told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that the state previously did not fund HIV testing at clinics, forcing people to go to state health facilities. But the new policy provides funding for the comprehensive test directly to clinics, allowing them to offer the test for free.

She told the news source that the increased availability would encourage more people to get tested, adding, "now they can walk in and just ask for an HIV test."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, of the more than one million people infected with HIV, as many as 21 percent may be undiagnosed.

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