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updated: 10/10/2012 11:47 AM

HIV epidemic a threat to Latino community

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--With National Latino AIDS Awareness Day planned on Oct. 15, the DuPage County Health Department encourages Latinos to know their HIV status and get tested. Early knowledge of HIV status provides access to life-extending treatment options.

In DuPage County, individuals may be tested for HIV through a number of options including doctors' offices, home-test kits and the Health Department's STD clinic.

The National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is designed to increase HIV awareness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 200,000 Latinos have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The rate of new infections among Latino men was more than double that of white men. The rate of HIV infection among Latino women was nearly four times that of white women.

Here are some steps that Latinos can take:

Get tested to find out if you are HIV positive.

Seek early medical care if you are HIV positive to protect yourself and your partner.

Protect yourself and others from HIV through safe sex practices.

Seek education about HIV.

Get involved in your community to help prevent HIV.

For information about HIV testing, education and medical care referrals in this area, contact the Health Department at (630) 682-7400.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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