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Friday, November 10, 2006

Free AIDS testing

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2006 at 2:21 PM

Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman isn't afraid of it. Neither is Cuyahoga Municipal Judge Joan Synenberg. And Stonewall Democrats President Patrick Shepherd even welcomes it. They're just three of nearly 40 Cleveland luminaries who'll submit to HIV antibody tests on November 16 as part of National Minority Health Month. The program will be held at the Great Lakes Science Center between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to "not merely talk about the importance and value of HIV testing, but by getting tested themselves as well," says Earl Pike, director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. (Call 216-621-0766, ext 238 for more info.) Today, as many as 300,000 Americans are living with the HIV virus and don't know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the testing is fairly simply: Get pricked with a needle and wait a few minutes for the blood results to come back. "Because of new technologies, HIV testing has become easier and much more accessible," says Pike. "And it still remains confidential." — Cris Glaser

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