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Atlanta mayor promotes HIV testing

Timothy Kincaid

June 24th, 2010

Newly elected Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (about whom I have expressed concerns in the past) is using his position to attract attention to National Testing Day this Sunday. (Journal Constitution)

“This is a disease that impacts all of the city,” Reed had said at a press conference earlier to urge widespread testing. “That is why I am going to participate and be tested as well.”

After a battery of medical questions, the technician handed the mayor an oral swab and instructed him on how to conduct the test – basically gathering saliva.

“Oh,” Reed said. “It is like brushing my teeth.”

And with that, it was over.

Twenty minutes later, the mayor would learn his status.

I appreciate Mayor Reed’s decision to heighten awareness about the ease and availability of testing for HIV. Most new infections are tied to a lack of knowledge about the HIV infected partner’s status and studies show that those who detect the virus early and seek treatment live longer healthier lives.

Those who are not absolutely certain about their status should follow Reed’s example.



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