Free AIDS Tests To Be Offered in Drugstores

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make HIV testing as routine as checking your blood pressure.

The CDC announced June 26 that it is rolling out a $1.2 million program to offer free and fast HIV tests in pharmacies and in-store clinics in 12 cities and 12 rural locations. The trial program will target areas with high HIV infection rates or low rates of testing.

The Associated Press reports that HIV tests are already available in seven locations, including an Indian health service clinic in Montana; Oakland, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The CDC is set to determine 17 more locations soon, with the majority placed inside pharmacies.

“By bringing HIV testing into pharmacies, we believe we can reach more people by making testing more accessible and also reduce the stigma associated with HIV,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

An estimated 1.1 million Americans have HIV, but nearly 20 percent don't know they're infected, according to the CDC.

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