Do you know your status?

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Today is World AIDS Day, do you know your status?

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control:

More than 25 years into the AIDS epidemic, HIV infection continues to exact a tremendous toll in the United States. Recent data indicate that African Americans and gay and bisexual men of all races continue to be most severely affected.

But this doesn’t mean people outside of these groups are safe. If you are sexually active, you are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

In Mecklenburg County, there was a 57-percent increase in HIV cases between 1999 and 2007, according to the county's health department.

North Carolina has a 21.9-percent rate of HIV cases. Mecklenburg County's rate is 44.9.

On average, seven  new cases of HIV disease were reported per week in Mecklenburg County in 2007. North Carolina reported 1,943 cases of HIV disease in 2007, with 20 percent (387 cases) attributed to Mecklenburg County.

If you need to get tested, these places have free and confidential testing available:

Rain (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) (704) 372-7246

Metrolina AIDS Project (704) 333-1435

The Mecklenburg County Health Department (704) 336-6500

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