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Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2010
(404) 639-8895

CDC Announces $31.5 Million Expansion of Successful HIV Testing Initiative to Ensure that More Americans Learn Their HIV Status

More than 1.4 Million Americans Tested To-Date Through Current Initiative

Following the success of an initiative through which more than 1.4 million Americans have been tested for HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today a new three-year, $31.5 million expansion of the program. Funding for the new phase of the initiative is expected to total approximately $142.5 million over the next three years, and will be provided to state and local health departments across the country to increase access to testing and early diagnosis of HIV.

The initiative, originally designed to increase testing and knowledge of HIV status primarily among African-American men and women, will now reach more U.S. jurisdictions and populations at risk. These include gay and bisexual men, as well as male and female Latinos and injection drug users. The new phase will build on the progress of the previous effort and ensure that many more Americans know their status. The HIV testing services will focus on areas across the nation where these populations are hardest hit.

“HIV testing is a crucial step in reducing new HIV infections, so that those infected with HIV can be linked to medical care and ongoing support to help them maintain safer behaviors,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “This expansion will help ensure that more Americans have access to what could be life-saving information about their HIV status.”

The current initiative began in 2007 and will end in September 2010 when the new project begins. In the first two years of this three-year initiative, more than 10,000 HIV-infected individuals were newly diagnosed, with 75 percent linked to care. Most tests (62 percent) were conducted among African-American men and women.

Most of the current project’s funds have been used to implement routine, voluntary HIV testing in health care settings, as recommended by CDC’s 2006 Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health Care Settings. Funds helped jurisdictions to establish the partnerships and infrastructure required to make routine HIV testing in these settings a reality. The new phase of the initiative will continue to make this a priority.

“Far too many Americans with HIV – more than 200,000 people – are unaware of their infection and may be unknowingly transmitting the virus to others,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “The expansion of this initiative reflects CDC’s continued commitment to ensure that far more Americans are tested for HIV, especially among vulnerable men and women most in need of HIV services.”

Beginning today, eligible jurisdictions can apply for the funds, which will be awarded in August for the three-year initiative that begins the following month. The number of areas eligible for this cycle of funding has been increased from 25 to 30 jurisdictions. These 30 jurisdictions represent the areas with the most severe HIV epidemics among African-Americans, Latinos, injection drug users, and gay and bisexual men of all races.

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