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December 1, 2010 marks World AIDS Day, giving communities worldwide an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to HIV/AIDS prevention. In the midst of a global financial crisis, leaders must deliver on their AIDS promises or hard fought gains will be lost, declares the World AIDS Campaign.

Montana's family planning clinics and their community partners are challenging Montanans to know their HIV status and be the leaders of their individual health through a campaign called "Get Checked."

In the United States, someone is diagnosed with HIV every nine and a half minutes. In Montana, over 400 people are currently living with diagnosed HIV infection. Many other Montanans are infected with HIV and do not realize it. It is estimated that one in five Americans who are infected with HIV are unaware of their infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that HIV testing be a part of routine healthcare for all patients between 13-64 years of age. Individuals with high risk should be tested annually.

HIV-positive Montanans deserve the right to know their status, halt the spread of HIV, access community resources, and seek medical care that can prolong their quality of life.

It's time for Montanans to get checked.

In recognition of World AIDS Day, Montana family planning clinics from Glendive to Libby are launching the "Get Checked" campaign, challenging Montanans to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

To find the testing site nearest you, visit www.getcheckedmt.com or go to www.plannedparenthood.org/montana.

WHO: Montana Council for Maternal and Child Health Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies - The Montana Coalition, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic and RiverStone Health

WHAT: 2010 Children's Health Forum

WHEN: 7am - 8:30am, Friday, December 3rd, 2010

WHERE: Mansfield Health Education Center, St. Vincent Healthcare

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