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December 3, 2012

Free HIV tests available today

Planned Parenthood of South Central New York Inc. will recognize World AIDS Day locally by offering free anonymous rapid HIV testing and counseling from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at its offices in Oneonta and Norwich. 

Established in 1988 and held each year Dec. 1, World AIDS Day is "an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died," according to the World AIDS Day website.
Debra Marcus, Chief Executive Officer at Planned Parenthood, said in a press release that as many as one in three people with HIV don't know they are infected. 
“When people know their HIV status, they can get the care they need to stay healthy for years,” Marcus said. “In addition, they can prevent further spread of the disease.”
The rapid HIV test is a finger prick for a drop of blood. Results are ready in 20 minutes. Patients will receive counseling on how to identify and reduce their risk of HIV infection. They can also pick up a free dose of emergency contraception, also known as the “morning after pill.”
“We also hope people will take advantage of our free emergency contraception giveaway,” Marcus said. “It’s another service we’re glad we can provide to the community.”
The Oneonta office is at 37 Dietz St.; in Norwich, Planned Parenthood has its office in Suite 208 of the Eaton Center at 26 Conkey Ave. 

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