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Free HIV testing on December 1 to promote early diagnosis

WHAT: Free HIV testing in honor of World AIDS Day

WHEN: Tuesday, December 1

WHERE: Any of Planned Parenthood’s six area health centers

In honor of the 21st annual World AIDS Day on Tuesday, December 1, Planned Parenthood will be offering free HIV tests at all six of its area health centers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one million people in the United States are now living with HIV, and more than 20% are unaware of their infection. St. Louis is ranked #5 in HIV, making it a very “at risk” city.

The high rates of HIV infection as well as other STDs such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in St. Louis illustrate the importance of preventative measures, comprehensive sex education and regular HIV testing to stop the spread of the disease. It is critical that sexually active people undergo regular sexually transmitted disease testing to protect both themselves and their partners from the spread of STDs and HIV.

“Knowing your status is vital for every individual,” says Paula Gianino, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. “Everyone who is sexually active should be tested regularly because it’s very easy to unknowingly infect someone else when there are no symptoms of the disease.”

World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to bringing attention to the AIDS epidemic and what steps can be taken to prevent the spread of HIV.

To find the clinic nearest you call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit www.plannedparenthood.org/stlouis.