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Get Real, Get Tested raising HIV awareness

READ MORE: Get Real, Get Tested raising HIV awareness
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More than 33,000 North Carolinians are living with HIV, and that number is growing every year. A statewide public health campaign is working to raise awareness and offer free testing. Nineteen-year-old Chris Cromartie makes it a point to get tested for HIV every year. "It's good to know you don't have HIV or AIDS, so I just do it just to do it." Cromartie got a free HIV test at the New Hanover County Health Department Friday as part of the ‘Get Real, Get Tested’ campaign. It's a statewide effort that offers free testing and education about HIV and AIDS The continued increase in HIV cases shows education is needed. "We're seeing an average of 1800 to 1900 new cases of HIV being reported each year,” said campaign coordinator Holly Watkins. Of the state's 100 counties, New Hanover County ranks 11th for newly diagnosed HIV cases. Sharema Williams, who oversees HIV education at New Hanover County's Health Department, said 50 to 60 new cases are reported each year. Not only does she invite people to come by for information and testing, but she and her team are going door to door to raise awareness. “We still have that stigma, which we will probably always have that stigma. Individuals would rather not know their status because they figure it's still as a death sentence,” Williams said. Williams reported that those with HIV and AIDS are living longer than ever before thanks to medications and for those being proactive and getting tested, like Cromartie, it's a weight off their shoulders. “It's good to know you don't have it and it's bad to know if you do have it and you're not getting tested and you still know you have it, but it's always safe to get tested." The New Hanover County Health Department always offers free HIV testing. The Get Real, Get Tested campaign is continuing tomorrow; they'll be at the New Hanover Community Health Center on Fourth Street from 9:00am to noon.

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TESTS

I'M SURE PEOPLE MAY BE WARY OF GETTING THESE TESTS, BUT DO YOU WANT TO SHORTEN YOUR LIFE SPAN AND OTHERS, OR STOP THIS THING BEFORE IT GETS OUT OF CONTROL.DON'T BE AFRAID OF GETTING TESTED,(AND I THOUGHT MEDICAL RECORDS WERE CONFIDENTIAL.) IF YOU THINK YOU ARE SICK GET TREATMENT , IF YOU ARE NOT THIS IS A WAKE-UP CALL TO CHANGE YOUR HABITS OR LIFESTYLE. BUT DON'T GO AROUND INFECTING OTHERS. THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THIS DEADLY DIEASE IS TO EDUCATE YOURSELF NOT HIDE FROM YOURSELF.SO GET TESTED. TELL YOUR PARTNER TO GET TESTED. IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!

The real reason people don't

The real reason people don't get tested is because they have to give too much information. If they are infected, they feel that they will have folks in white lab coats following them around the rest of their lives. Anonymous testing is the only way to get a lot of those people tested. Unfortunately, I don't think this is an option in NC unless you get one of those home kits that you send off a blood specimen to a lab and call back for the results. Also, having to provide ID when giving blood is a deterrant.

WHAT??

Showing ID when giving blood is a deterrent? The real reason people don't get tested is because they have to give too much information?? Why? Have you a reason to hide? The people I know get checked out at their doctor's office and have it all right there in their medical file. Why would someone who is sick, not have the morals necessary to protect others? For years HIV people still wanted to have sex with others without telling the other person they were infected. More innocent people were infected because of a lack of morals. To me, it's just as evil as a child molester. We have many web sites identifying where a child molester is, but not one to warn innocent people of a sexually active HIV person. The ONLY way to eradicate a disease such as that is to keep infected people away from non infected people. Instead, we are letting them go as anonymous so no one has a clue who or where they are. Best recourse then, abstinence! BUT! They want to teach our school children about using condoms instead of abstinence. You can't have it both ways. Either teach abstinence or tell people where the sexually active HIV and AIDS people are.

Taking The Initiative

The Only way a person can protect themselves from a person who is HIV+ is by asking them to get tested for HIV. If that individual refuse then there shouldn't be any intimacy between the two.