News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant
Commissioner
For Release:
June 23, 2000
For Further Information Contact:
Rita Manno
609-984-7160
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June 27 is National HIV Testing Day
Take the Time to be Tested

TRENTON -- Marking Tuesday, June 27, as National HIV Testing Day, Commissioner Christine Grant said she hopes friends and families of those people at risk for HIV would encourage them to be tested at any of the 23 sites in New Jersey, where free and confidential counseling services are also offered.

"Prevention and early diagnosis are so important to reduce HIV incidence and prevent further transmission. The medical treatment for this disease has prolonged lives and increased the quality of life for many people," Grant said.

Individuals in the following risk categories should be encouraged to test for HIV: injecting drug users and their partners, young adult men who have sex with other men and women with multiple sex partners. Anyone concerned about his or her HIV status should also seek testing and counseling.

In recognition of the National HIV Testing Day, Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC) will offer testing at the Ray of Hope (Drop-In Multi-Purpose Center) at 523 Stevens Street. At an afternoon block party, a variety of health related services will be offered to local Camden residents and those who frequent the center.

In Paterson, the Healthy Paterson Project and St. Joseph's Hospital will provide free counseling and testing at the YMCA of Paterson, St. Paul's Shelter and the hospital. In Jersey City, the Jersey City Medical Center working with other agencies in Hudson County will offer testing and counseling at the Journal Square Path Station on Bergen St., the Pioneers Restaurant and the Crazy Green, both on Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.

For information on the nearest HIV testing site, call the New Jersey AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-624-2377. The Hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The HIV virus is transmitted through exchange of bodily fluids such as blood and semen.

All counseling and testing sites use Ora-Sure for HIV testing, which is a simple, non-invasive oral procedure. A special swab is used between the cheek and gum to obtain a sample that is then tested for HIV antibodies.

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