Washington D.C. Increases Efforts to Encourage HIV Testing

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Washington D.C. has decided to take new steps towards making the population more aware of their HIV status. The city hasn’t always been this pro-active about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and for that reason, it has one of the nation’s highest per-capita infection rates. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that this new change in the government’s attitude means “a whole new morning in America.” Washington D.C. gave away five million condoms last year, which is ten times more than the distribution rate in 2007. In addition, per year, over 300,000 clean needles are given away to everyone, from heroin users to transgender prostitutes who inject hormones. Furthermore, testing is available at locations such as grocery stores, DMV, and, in some cases, people are even paid by NGOs to get tested. Though there is much room for improvement, the number of people in the city getting tested has increased from 43,000 in 2007 to 122,000 in 2011. [TR]

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