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Published June 28, 2010, 10:18 PM

North Dakota Observes National H.I.V. Testing Day

Area physicians say it is important to raise awareness.

North Dakota observed National H.I.V. testing day Sunday and physicians say it is important to raise awareness.

The North Dakota Department of Health is asking people at risk for HIV/AIDS to get tested and area doctors want people to know the facts.

In the United States it is estimated that more than one million people are HIV positive.

480 of those cases have been reported in North Dakota since 1984.

Physicians at Altru say it is important to stay informed.

"The problem with HIV is you can have the infection and feel completely fine and go about your daily activities." said physician Dr. James Hargreaves, "It takes about ten years, and then in ten years you start becoming very ill and by that time your immune system is fairly far advanced in damage. So the goal if we can identify people earlier then we can intervene earlier and keep an individual healthy."

Hargreaves says you can get tested at pretty much any clinic in town and you can check with your family doctor.