On the occasion of World Aids Day 2010, the infectious diseases clinic of the Lazzaro Spallanzani hospital on Via Portuense 292 is providing free HIV screening for everyone on 1 December between 08.00 and 20.00. This is the second consecutive year of the hospital initiative which, in addition to HIV testing, offers free counselling and information about the disease including preventative measures. The S. Gallicano di Roma hospital on Via Elio Chianesi 53 is offering the same service, from 08.00 to 18.00.

In recent times, about 4,000 people a year in Italy become infected with HIV, with over 90 per cent of infections acquired through sexual contact. Although incidences of new infections in Italy are decreasing, the total amount of HIV-positive people in the country is estimated to be around 150,000.

Across Italy on 1 December from 08.00 to 20.00, people with concerns about HIV/AIDS can telephone the free-phone AIDS helpline, tel. 800861061, whose experts are on hand to answer questions and offer advice.

Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani hospital was founded in 1936 as a centre for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Since 1980, the hospital has played a major role in the care, treatment and research of HIV and AIDS. Along with the S. Gallicano di Roma, it has been to the forefront in the international field of research for a vaccination against HIV/AIDS.

Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital, Via Portuense 292, Rome, tel. 065594555.

S. Gallicano di Roma hospital, Via Elio Chianesi 53, Roma, tel. 065291103.