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HIV/AIDS advocates mark nat'l testing day
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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AIDS advocates from around the country recognized National HIV Testing Day June 27, and Chicago was no exception.

Local service providers and advocates with the Chicagoland National HIV Testing Collaborative hosted a free testing event June 27 outside the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. The day marked the final event of the group's "Step Up, Get Tested" campaign, a month-long testing effort targeting underserved communities.

Advocates noted efforts to test 5,000 people through the campaign at a June 27 press conference.

Among those speaking was 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr.

"What we're celebrating here is an opportunity for people's lives," Burnett said.

The Chicago event coincided with national efforts to increase HIV testing. President Barack Obama was among those noting the day.

"Early detection and treatment for HIV saves lives, and yet over half of adults in the United States have never been tested," the president said, in a statement on the White House blog. "Nearly one in five people living with HIV in this country doesn't know his or her status. That delays treatment, increases the risk of transmission, and sets us back in our fight against the


Other speakers at the Chicago press conference included Step Up, Get Tested Chair Anthony Galloway, Dr. Robert A. Weinstein of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, Justin Wooley of Alere and Marcella Abrams of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Community leaders were expected to talk about testing efforts locally at a Town Hall Meeting June 27. That event will be broadcast at 6 p.m. on CAN TV. Watch: On CAN TV27 and at .

More information on Step Up, Get Tested is available at .

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