City aims to test all Bronx adults for HIV

Starting today any Bronx resident can visit 1 of 40 locations to be tested
June 26, 2008 2:51:44 PM PDT
A new campaign is aimed at getting every adult in the Bronx to take an HIV test within three years. New York City health officials made the announcement today.

"The Bronx has the opportunity to lead the city in the fight against HIV/AIDS by being the first borough to have all residents tested," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City Health Commissioner. "The Bronx can build on its success by further increasing its testing rate. This effort will set a model not only for the city but for the whole country. We thank the many groups and health care providers who are pledging to help achieve this goal."

Health officials say while Manhattan has the highest incidence of HIV and AIDS, the Bronx has the highest AIDS-related death rate.

The disease can be managed with medication, but officials say Bronx residents are waiting too long to get tested, resulting in the high death rate.

Seven out of 10 Bronx adults (69 percent) have been tested at some point in their lives, compared with 64 percent in Manhattan and 56 percent in Brooklyn.

HIV testing saves lives and prevents the spread of the infection by enabling HIV-positive people to get the care they need and take steps to protect their partners.

"Knowing your status is one of the best things you can do to stop the spread of HIV," said Dr. Monica Sweeney, Assistant Commissioner for HIV Prevention and Control. "Getting tested tells you to stay safe if you are negative, and develop a plan to feel better, live longer, and protect others if you are positive. I encourage all Bronx residents to join the movement to make the Bronx the first to know."

Starting today, any Bronx resident can go to any one of 40 locations throughout the borough for fast, reliable testing. Locations are searchable at www.nyc.gov/bronxhivtesting.

Note to All New Yorkers: Any New Yorker can get a free HIV test at any of the City's STD clinics. For a complete list of locations call 311. And if you're sexually active, don't assume that HIV is someone else's problem, everyone needs to be tested. In addition to getting tested, using a condom every time you have sex is the best way to stay safe. Any New Yorker can get free NYC Condoms by calling 311 or by visiting one of the hundreds of restaurants, bars and coffee shops that have them. For a list of locations, visit www.nyc.gov/condoms.

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STORY BY: Lakisha Bostick


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