Free HIV testing offered in the Southern Tier this week - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Free HIV testing offered in the Southern Tier this week

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- December 1 marked World Aids Day, and this week Family Planning of South Central New York is offering free HIV testing. 

It's being offered at all of its health centers including the one located at 117 Hawley St. in Binghamton.

"We now look at HIV as a chronic infection we are not at the point where we can cure it, but we are at the point where we can control it," Melissa Brennan, the Director of Health Center Operations at the Binghamton center, said. "We have another health center in Oneonta, we have one in Norwich, we have two part-time health centers one in Sidney and one in Walton, so yes all week long in all of our health centers."

The process can all be done in just about a half hour. 

"Simple finger stick, obtain a little bit of blood, put it on the testing device, put another solution on top of that, and in 20 minutes you have very accurate results," Brennan explained. 

Brennan says it's important people are aware aids and HIV are still around, so that leaders can continue to stop the spread. 

"Treatment is excellent nowadays, people are living basically normal life spans, and as I said treating and preventing is key to ending the epidemic," Brennan added. 

She's encouraging people to take advantage of the service, all in an effort to keep the community healthy.

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