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updated: 11/28/2012 11:25 AM

Learn about HIV and treatment options to live longer

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--With World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, The DuPage County Health Department is encouraging individuals to know their HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) status by getting tested on Dec. 1 or any other day. Early knowledge of HIV status provides access to life-extending treatment options.

DuPage County residents may be tested for HIV through a number of options including doctors' offices, home-test kits and at the Health Department's STD (sexually transmitted disease) clinic.

World AIDS Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV. By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight the organisms that cause disease.

AIDS has killed millions of people worldwide, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.

A key component of getting people into treatment is getting them tested. Testing is the only way to identify the nearly 210,000 Americans currently living with HIV who do not know they are infected--that's almost 1 in 5 of all Americans with HIV. HIV testing and diagnosis are the first steps toward connecting people to treatment that can keep people healthy and prevent the spread of HIV to their partners.

For information about HIV testing in DuPage County, 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.