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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

IN HIV/AIDS Center Urges Participation on National HIV Testing Day

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023   

Once viewed as an automatic death sentence with the first diagnosis in 1981, HIV today is met with effective treatment options. Today is National HIV Testing Day, which encourages people to get tested to determine if they are infected. Testing is free and confidential at multiple sites around the country.

Alan Witchey, president and CEO of The Damian Center, an Indiana AIDS service organization, said testing for the virus is simple.

"You can come in and get your status in minutes. It's a rapid test," he explained. "It's just a pin prick to your finger and you can get your status in minutes, so it's worthwhile going and finding out."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Indiana, 540 new cases of HIV were detected as of January 2022 - currently, there are 13,900 people living with HIV in the state.

The agency also says an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2021. Of those people, about 87% reported being aware they were HIV positive. Witchey admits the urgency and attention to the diagnosis and treatment of HIV and AIDS has faded over time due to medications that help infected people live long and healthy lives, but added it is a misnomer to believe the HIV and AIDS epidemic is over.

"The epidemic is still going on in central Indiana," he said. "We had 300 new cases last year. There are about 1,000 people in central Indiana that are living with HIV and don't know it."

Witchey added often people will get diagnosed later, and they may already feel ill or have side effects related to the disease - which is why it is so important to get an early diagnosis. A 2020 study by 'aidsvs.org' found that 76% of people who developed AIDS had a late HIV diagnosis, which is defined as having an AIDS diagnosis within three months of testing positive for the HIV virus.


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