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Free HIV tests available across Delaware Tuesday

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[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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If you aren’t sure of your HIV status, you can end that uncertainty this week. A handful of clinics are offering free testing Tuesday.

State officials say about 100 people in Delaware are infected with HIV each year, which can lead to severe health problems if it goes untreated.

“The bulk of those new cases that we are now seeing in Delaware and across the nation are from people who do not know they were infected in the first place,” said Martin Luta, the chief of the Bureau of Communicable Disease for the state public health department.

HIV is a disease that weakens a person’s immune system, leaving them vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses.

There’s no cure, but Luta says modern medicine turned HIV from a death sentence into a manageable, chronic condition cheaply and with fewer side effects.

He says it’s critical for someone to know their status and get tested regularly.

“If you can get tested, if you are negative, take care. If you are positive, there’s very good treatment out there for you,” Luta said.

Most recent diagnoses are transmitted sexually, he says, but there are still cases of infection by sharing needles.

In all, six clinics in New Castle and Sussex Counties are offering free testing:

·       Community Service building

100 West 10th St. Suite 315, Wilmington, DE

8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

·       Bowlerama

3031 New Castle Ave.

New Castle, DE

4:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.

 

·       Beautiful Gate Outreach Center

604 N. Walnut St.

Wilmington, DE

9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 

·       Porter State Service Center

511 W. 8th St.

Wilmington, DE

10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

 

·       Anna C. Shipley State Service Center

350 Virginia Ave.

Seaford, DE

9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

 

·       Camp Rehoboth

37 Baltimore Ave.

Rehoboth Beach, DE

Noon to 8:00 p.m.

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