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Free HIV tests available today in Manchester

CONCORD — Free oral HIV tests will be available today at more than a dozen sites around the state as part of National HIV Testing Day.

The Manchester Health Department is among those providing free HIV and Hepatitis C testing Thursday at 1528 Elm St. between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. No appointment is necessary. The immunization clinic usually scheduled for Thursday is canceled.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is collaborating with local testing sites to offer the tests, which require no blood draw and provide results within 20 minutes.

Testing sites are scheduled for Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Laconia, Portsmouth, Lebanon, Keene, Ossipee and Somersworth.

To locate a participating site near you, go to or call the DHHS Infectious Disease Prevention, Investigation and Care Section at 271-4502.

“New Hampshire continues to see a low incidence of HIV, but unfortunately 50 percent of newly diagnosed patients go on to be diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months,” according to state health officials. “This means they are accessing care late and often not until they are quite sick and possibly too late for treatment. Sixty-six percent of the people living with AIDS in New Hampshire are 45 years of age or older.”

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends everybody 15 to 65 years old be screened for HIV infection at least once. People who are at increased risk, such as gay or bisexual men, injection drug users or those with multiple sex partners should be tested more frequently. Pregnant women also should be tested early in their pregnancy to prevent transmission of HIV infection to their infants, according to the Manchester Health Department.

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