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Groups offer free HIV tests

Barbecues, parades and movie screenings are a few ways AIDS advocacy groups plan to bring communities out for National HIV Testing Day on Friday.

"We're going to be out all day and it's going to be a lot of fun stuff going on," said Andrew Maldonado, an HIV specialist with the Tampa Bay AIDS Network.

The observance originated in 1995 with the National Association of People With AIDS to encourage the uniformed and possibly infected to be tested and receive treatment.

Maldonado will offer testing from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Pointe at South Florida Apartments, 3424 Jefferson Commons Drive, during a screening of One Week, a film about a couple confronted with possible HIV infection one week before their wedding.

Other groups, such as the Tampa Bay Community Events Partnership, will offer free food and testing from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tampa Flea Market on Fowler and Nebraska avenues.

In Pinellas, several organizations will offer testing along the parade route during the St. Petersburg Pride parade and festival on Saturday.

With most organizations, the tests can be taken confidentially or anonymously.

With anonymous results, instead of giving a name, the person receives a barcode number that he must submit to the tester in two weeks for results. Rapid testing will be available in select locations.

"If they test positive anonymously, they'll have to retake the test confidentially to qualify for medical care," Maldonado said.

More information

For more on National HIV Testing Day events and test sites, go, and click on links from the newspaper.

Groups offer free HIV tests 06/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 26, 2008 7:00pm]
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