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FOR RELEASE: June 27, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day

State health officials would like to see an increase in the number of people tested for HIV and for those tested to learn their serostatus, seek necessary support, and take charge of their health and life.

Wednesday, June 27, marks the 7th Annual National HIV Testing Day campaign sponsored by the National Association of People With AIDS. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) HIV/STD Service is encouraging everyone to participate in this campaign. This year's theme is “Take the Test, Take Control.”

As of June 2000, there were 431,924 persons in the United States living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). OSDH data show that as of March 2001 in Oklahoma, 2,331 persons were infected with HIV, and 1,536 additional persons were living with AIDS.

The CDC estimates that nationally between 800,000 and 900,000 Americans are infected with HIV. Of this number, approximately 200,000 are unaware they are infected. “It is imperative that anyone who feels they may have been placed at risk, or desires to know their HIV status, get tested,” says William Pierson, chief, OSDH HIV/STD Service. “OSDH has anonymous and confidential counseling and testing sites in the metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa as well as other sites statewide.”

A statewide HIV/AIDS hotline is available to provide up-to-date factual information. Also, the hotline provides information on the nearest test sites in Oklahoma. For questions about testing and counseling sites near you, call the HIV/AIDS hotline at 1-800-535-2437.

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