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National HIV Survey Finds Support for Routine Testing

June 26, 2008

WASHINGTON, June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, Friday, June 27th, Test for Life released a national survey on attitudes surrounding HIV and AIDS as part of its national campaign to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensure access to care for those who test positive. At least 65% of those polled believe HIV tests should be part of routine medical care.

The just-completed national survey of likely voters finds a high level of concern about the spread of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and identifies shifts in conventional viewpoints on the disease.

   AMONG THE FINDINGS:    --  88% say HIV is a serious problem in the U.S. while a plurality (43%)       see HIV and AIDS as becoming more widespread in the U.S. over the past       decade;   --  Only 9% of those polled think health care reform is a priority issue       for the Congress and the President; with high gas prices and the state       of the economy seen as the top two policy issues;   --  2/3 of Americans believe that HIV testing should be part of routine       health care;   --  85% believe that private insurance and/or government health plans       should cover the cost of HIV/AIDS screening as part of routine       healthcare;   --  40% of Americans know a family member, friend or acquaintance       diagnosed with HIV/AIDS;   --  While almost half (47%) of Americans have been tested for HIV, 82%       believe that HIV positive individuals feel they must hide their       status;   --  51% still believe HIV to be terminal vs. 41% who believe that HIV is a       chronic disease;   --  62% believe that HIV/AIDS nationwide affects all races equally.   

“These data make it clear that there is a national desire for HIV testing as part of routine care in the U.S.,” said Gary A. Puckrein, Executive Director of Test For Life. “These numbers also show that there is much left to do to stop the spread of HIV. The easiest steps each of us can take in order to know one’s status are to get a simple HIV test and get educated about HIV,” he continued.

The interviews were conducted June 21 – 23, 2008 by Mr. Peter Brodnitz of the Benenson Strategy Group. Mr. Brodnitz was named “Pollster of the Year” in 2007 by the American Association of Political Consultants — a bi-partisan award given to one pollster per election year. The Benenson Strategy Group’s clients include Governor Tim Kaine (VA), Senator Jim Webb (VA), and Barack Obama’s campaign for President.

The data and full results can be found on Test For Life’s website at: http://www.testforlife.org/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are approximately 250,000 to 300,000 Americans who do not know they are infected with HIV. CDC also estimates that the majority of new infections are caused by individuals who are unaware of their status and are unknowingly spreading the disease.

Test for Life began in 2006 as an educational campaign of the National Minority Quality Forum, designed to raise awareness of the importance of routine HIV screening in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing are essential to improving early diagnosis of HIV and linking patients to early care and treatment of the disease. http://www.testforlife.org/

Test for Life

CONTACT: John Procter of Test for Life, +1-800-461-6946

Web Site: http://www.testforlife.org/




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