ATLANTA, April 2 (UPI) -- More than $31 million has been added to
a U.S. program to aid people, especially those at risk, to be
tested for HIV, federal health officials said.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in
Atlanta said with the additional funds the program should total
approximately $142.5 million over the next three years.
State and local health departments across the country will
receive the additional funds to increase access to testing and
early diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus.
The initiative was designed to increase testing and knowledge of
HIV status among African-American men and women, but the expanded
program will reach out to more jurisdictions and at-risk
populations, including gay and bisexual men, Latinos and
injection drug users.
"HIV testing is a crucial step in reducing new HIV infections, so
that those infected with HIV can be linked to medical care and
ongoing support to help them maintain safer behaviors," Dr. Kevin
Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral
Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Tuberculosis
Prevention, said in a statement. "This expansion will help ensure
that more Americans have access to what could be life-saving
information about their HIV status."