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Alexandria Has Highest AIDS Rate In Northern Virginia

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A report from a D.C. nonprofit calls for more HIV/AIDS prevention education in D.C. public schools.
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A report from a D.C. nonprofit calls for more HIV/AIDS prevention education in D.C. public schools.

The disparity concerns Thomas Suydam, the chairman of the Commission on HIV/AIDS in Alexandria. But he also thinks it's possible the widely available testing has driven the numbers up.

"In fact, that may in part, at least, explain the higher incidence in Alexandria is that we have been successful in encouraging people to be tested," he says.

Most people living with HIV and AIDS in Alexandria are African-American men, a group that the commission has been trying to target by reaching out to the faith community.

"One of the things that we're emphasizing is to love responsibly," says Alexandria Health Department Director Stephen Haering. "It means taking protection. It means staying in a monogamous relationship, and it means getting tested and acting on the results of those tests."

Haering says the city offers a number of clinics several times a week where anyone can get free testing.

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