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YWCAs to Mark National HIV Testing Day on June 27
Date:6/25/2009

WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The YWCA USA and many of its 300 local associations across the country will join with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in marking National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

National HIV Testing Day aims to raise public awareness about the fact that one in five Americans who is infected with HIV does not know it and, as a consequence, can unknowingly spread the deadly virus to others. Further, it encourages Americans to learn about HIV risk factors, take action to prevent infection, get an HIV test and, if infected, seek prompt medical treatment that can keep them healthy and also prevent transmission of the virus from mothers to their newborn infants.

To find nearby confidential or anonymous HIV testing locations, people can go online to www.hivtest.org, call toll free 800-232-4636, or send a text message with their zip codes to KNOWIT (566948).

Since AIDS is a leading cause of death for young Black women ages 25 to 34, as well as the fourth leading cause of death for Hispanic women ages 35 to 44, the YWCA is also observing this day to raise public awareness of the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on women of color.

"YWCA regards the higher prevalence of HIV and AIDS among young Black and Latina women compared to other women as a racial justice issue," said Lorraine Cole, Ph.D., YWCA USA CEO. "AIDS is taking a heavy toll on their lives and their families during what should be their prime career-building and childbearing years. We urge everyone - especially young women of color -- to get an HIV test."

YWCA USA has produced two new public service ads promoting HIV testing to younger women. This week it will partner with four local YWCAs and place the ads in newspapers in communities with high HIV female infection rates -- Baltimore, Houston, Miami, and Washington, D.C. See these new YWCA ads at: http://www.ywca.org/site/pp.asp?c=djISI6PIKpG&b=5160403.

YWCA USA is a national not-for-profit membership organization that provides social services, advocacy, education and leadership development. It is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Established in the United States in 1858, the YWCA is the oldest and largest national women's organization, and celebrating its 150th anniversary. Through its nearly 300 affiliated local YWCAs and its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the YWCA serves 2.5 million women and girls each year. Globally, the YWCA USA is a member of World YWCA, which has affiliates in 103 countries that serve 25 million women and girls worldwide. Visit www.ywca.org.


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SOURCE YWCA USA
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