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More HIV testing urged for gay men in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- With about one in five sexually active people nationally who studies say are HIV positive and don’t know it, Long Beach officials say more needs to be done to get people, especially gay men, tested.

The overwhelming number of cases in the Long Beach area are gay men, and some men don’t know their status for a variety of reasons, said Michael Buitron, outreach specialist with the CARE Program at St. Mary Medical Center. The program is the area’s largest and most comprehensive HIV and AIDS treatment program.

“We need more gay-friendly health care providers and more access to health care, more access to mental health, more access to testing,” Buitron said. “If you’re a gay man without insurance or a gay man with insurance but you have a doctor who squirms when you mention your sexuality, you’re out of luck. You probably won’t get tested.”

Read the full story on Long Beach Press-Telegram HERE.