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HIV-Wary Apple Urging: Take the Test

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One in four New Yorkers living with HIV are unaware of it, so city health officials are urging everyone to get tested for the virus that causes AIDS and then disclose that information to their sex partners.

In commemoration of tomorrow's National HIV Testing Day, Orasure, a manufacturer of rapid-testing kits, has donated 2,500 kits to city officials.

"New York City remains at the epicenter of the country's epidemic . . . By knowing your HIV status, you can protect yourself and your partners," Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said yesterday.

The latest tests provide results in an hour. The city has been using rapid testing at selected clinics since March, and by August, it will be available in all five boroughs.

Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to make the quick test available to all New Yorkers this year.

"Avoiding risky sexual behavior, using condoms, and discussing your HIV status with your partners are important to protect yourself and others and to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Knowing your HIV status can save your life," Frieden said.

Officials estimate that at least 20,000 New Yorkers are unaware of their infection, potentially putting many more at risk.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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