Vermont Health Department urging HIV tests

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Health Department is urging people to get tests for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Friday was National HIV Testing Day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nationally about 16 percent of people living with the virus don't know that they have it.

It can take about 11 years from when people become infected before symptoms present themselves.

Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso says although there's no cure for HIV, treatment can improve health and prolong life.

She says treatment can also reduce the amount of virus in the bloodstream, which can greatly reduce the chance of spreading HIV to others.

The state recommends that most people should be tested for HIV at least once. People at higher risk for infection should get tested every year.

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