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Local AIDS group providing free testing

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The Damien Center, which provides resources and care for Hoosiers living with HIV/AIDS, is holding a free HIV testing day June 27th.

Given the fact that one of five people infected with HIV don't know they have it, HIV specialists recommend that tested be a part of everyone's regular health routine.

"Knowing your status is a part of taking care of yourself," Rhonda Bayless, Damien's director of prevention, said in a news release announcing the free testing day.

"Once you're aware of your status, you can begin to make decisions about your sexual health that keep you safe and healthy," she said. "If you find out you're positive, The Damien Center can assist with the first steps to getting into care. If you find out you're HIV negative, we'll provide you with the education and tools to stay negative. "

An estimated 10,000 people in Indiana live with HIV, the news release said.

The center is teaming up with Walgreens, the CDC, and local health departments to provide testing at three Indianapolis Walgreens locations from 3-7 p.m. in honor of the 17th annual National HIV Testing Day.

Participating Walgreens locations include:

-1530 N. Meridian Street

-3205 E. Washington Street

-7506 N. Shadeland Ave.

The Damien Center also provides free testing at their 26 N. Arsenal Ave. location year-round.

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