National HIV Testing Day is Saturday

National HIV Testing Day is Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Saturday, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.

The Illinois Department of Health is hosting two events in hopes of making people more aware of the HIV and the importance of getting tested.

On June 26, IDPH will be at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield with information about HIV.

The next day, the health department will host an HIV testing event in Dreamland Park in Springfield from 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m.

The testing and other health screenings will be confidential.  Both of the events are free and open to the public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in seven people living with HIV are unaware of their infection.

At the end of last year, it's believed that 37,000 Illinoisians were infected.

The CDC reports that more than half of youth between the ages of 13 and 24 living with HIV don't know they have it, leading to a late diagnosis after the HIV infection has turned into AIDS.

The people with the highest number of new infections include gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities, "high risk" heterosexuals, and injection drug users.

To find the closest free, confidential HIV testing location call the Illinois Department of Public Health's HIV/AIDS hotline at 1-800-243-2437.

National HIV Testing Day has been observed every June 27 since 1995 to raise awareness about HIV prevention and education.

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