On the eve of World Aids Day, a local health organization is urging area residents to be tested for HIV/AIDS. The CDC says more than one million people in the United States live with HIV/AIDS, and of those, one in seven don’t know they’re affected.
According to the Home Nursing Agency, five people have been diagnosed with HIV in Blair County in each of the past two years. Aids Intervention Manager Jerry Rice believes that number’s too low.
“In our community with all of the drug and alcohol issues, especially with all of the intravenous drug use, we feel like there’s a good probability that people are getting infected through shared needles,” he said.
Rice says 82 people in Blair County and 72 in Huntingdon County have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
He says it’s important to be tested because with medication, you can live for years with the virus. Also, you can take steps to protect others from your infection.