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Free HIV testing to be offered

The Eastern Idaho Public Health District will offer free and confidential rapid HIV testing throughout the month of December.

The program will begin on December 1, World Aids Day. On that day, the health district will hold a special clinic from 9 a.m. to Noon at its Idaho Falls office.

The HIV tests will be offered all month long in Bonneville, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, and Teton Counties.

As part of the observation, the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display at no charge at the Idaho Falls Elks Lodge at 640 E. Elva.

The quilt will be on display next Tuesday through Thursday (Nov. 27-29) from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1 from noon to 7 p.m. Also on December 1, there will be a dedication of new panels for the National Names Project Memorial AIDS Quilt at 5:30 p.m.

The quilt consists of 3′ x 6′ panels to represent the size of a human grave. Because it is so large, it is not displayed in its entirety. The Idaho Falls quilt display is one of the larger displays in the country and is a reminder of the devastation HIV/AIDS has had on the U.S.

If you have ever had unprotected sex or shared needles, you may have been exposed to HIV.

The rapid test provides results in about 15 minutes. If the tests are reactive, blood will be drawn from the patient for a second test for confirmation.

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