hiv_testing.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a new initiative to expand HIV testing into pharmacies and retail clinics throughout America. 

Launched at 24 urban and rural pharmacies, the two-year pilot effort will provide a model for offering confidential, rapid HIV tests as part of the standard, everyday services offered at community pharmacies and retail clinics across the United States.

The effort aims to make testing more convenient and accessible to many Americans.

HIV testing is a critical step to ending the U.S. HIV epidemic. CDC estimates that more than 200,000 Americans with HIV do not know they are infected, and that this group accounts for the majority of sexually transmitted HIV infections in the United States each year. 

Testing is especially important for groups that are disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay and bisexual men of all races, African Americans, and Latinos. Getting tested empowers people to take control of their health and, if they test positive, to seek treatment and protect others from infection.

The CDC recommends that all adults and adolescents get tested for HIV at least once as a routine part of medical care, yet more than half of Americans still have never been tested. 

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