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Free testing for HIV and Hep C is available in Claremont this week

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Granite Staters in the Claremont area can get free testing for HIV and hepatitis C on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the TLC Family Resource Center.

Appointments and insurance are not required to get tested at the event, which runs from 4 to 6 pm.

Gail Moeller, TLC Center's assistant program manager, says testing takes about 20 minutes. People who get tested at the event can get connected with the next steps to get treatment for any positive results.

It’s important for Granite Staters to know their status, the earlier the better, she said.

“These doctors have excellent programs, and it's just cutting out all the difficulty for people to get into that treatment,” she said.

Treatment is also getting better and easier for those who test positive, Moeller said.

HIV, a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, is spread mainly through sexual intercourse or sharing equipment for preparing and injecting drugs, like needles or syringes. It’s treatable through the use of antiretroviral therapy. Most people can get the virus under control in six months.

Hepatitis C, a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus, can also be transmitted through contact with blood, by sharing needles or other equipment. In most people, hepatitis C can be treated with a 12-week course of medication.

Recovery coaches from the center, which provides resources for Granite Staters experiencing addiction, are also available to speak with anybody who comes in.

No appointments are necessary for testing, and the event will feature free food and gift cards.

The TLC Family Resource Center is located at 62 Pleasant St. in Claremont.

Mara Hoplamazian reports on climate change, energy, and the environment for NHPR.

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