Cell-phone customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now have access to trained volunteer counselors who can answer their questions about HIV/AIDS issues, including HIV transmission, risky behavior, HIV counseling and testing, HIV care and treatment and sexually transmitted infections. The HIV/AIDS telephone hotline, 800-SIDA, officially opened in May 2005 with the support of the U.S. Government, DRC's three largest cell-phone companies, the National Multi-Sector AIDS Commission, and the Ministry of Health. The 800-SIDA office received more than 1,440 phone calls in its first three days of operation, and more than 12 percent of callers were referred to HIV counseling and testing centers, health clinics and support groups.
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