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Free HIV testing at CMC/DHK on June 27

June 23, 2014
Keene, NH

8:30 am-4:30 pm at Court Street Keene location on Level 2A in the Infectious Disease Department

HIV Testing Day

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) is collaborating with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide free rapid testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during National HIV Testing Day on Friday, June 27.

Rapid testing for HIV, which does not involve the drawing of blood, screens for the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV spreads primarily through unprotected sex, sharing of needles among infected people, and transmission from infected mothers to their babies. Results of the tests are available within 20 minutes, and staff will be on hand to review and discuss your results. 

In April, 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released new guidelines recommending routine HIV testing for ALL adults age 15-65, in concordance with longstanding recommendations from the CDC.  Currently, less than half of Americans have ever been tested.  About 1.2 million Americans have HIV, yet 20-25% of those do not know that they are infected.  About 50,000 Americans are newly infected each year. 

The need for more comprehensive testing is evident throughout the US, but the need is particularly urgent in New Hampshire.  New Hampshire has one of the highest concurrent HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates in the country:  ~63% of newly diagnosed HIV infected individuals in NH are diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months, compared to 33% nationally.  Our HIV program estimates that only half of NH HIV infected residents are aware, receiving care, and optimally treated. This results in a lot of unnecessary suffering and directly contributes to the ongoing expansion of the epidemic.  For those who are infected, late diagnosis compromises their health, increases the costs of care, and allows them to unknowingly infect others.

Testing will be available from 8:30 am-4:30 pm at our Court Street Keene location on Level 2A in the Infectious Disease Department. Directional signage will be posted guiding folks to the appropriate department.
For more information

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene is a nonprofit community hospital and clinic with a mission to lead our community to become the nation’s healthiest through our clinical and service excellence, collaboration, and compassion for every patient, every time. Founded by CMC/DHK, Healthy Monadnock 2020 is a community-wide health initiative designed to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County in the process of becoming the nation’s healthiest community by 2020. To learn more, call 603-354-5400or visit cheshiremed.org.

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