NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY | JUNE 27
June 27th of each year recognizes National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), encouraging people of all ages to “Take the Test, Take Control.”
In the United States, there are nearly 1.1 million people who live with HIV, and almost one in five do not know that they are infected. Getting the test is the first step to find out if you have HIV. The Centers for Disease Control recommends anyone between the age of 13 and 64 receive an HIV test as part of a routine physical. Those who are sexually active, the CDC recommends testing once per year and sometimes more frequently, depending on risk factors.
Anyone who tests positive should know the steps to living a longer and healthier life with HIV and how to help stop the spread of HIV to others. These steps include getting medical care, HIV education, and taking the proper medications regularly. On National HIV Testing Day, testing sites around the country will be open, including mobile testing units.
The observance also aims to increase education concerning HIV and testing. One crucial fact to know is when it comes to HIV, abstinence is the only way to prevent HIV. Other important facts to know:
- Condom use reduces the risk of infection. Use a new condom every time you have sex.
- Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offers hope for couples in relationships where one partner has HIV, and the other doesn’t. Speak to your doctor about taking daily PrEP.
- Don’t put off medical care. Even if you already know your HIV status, putting off needed care may compromise your health in unnecessary ways. If you or someone you know isn’t seeking help out of fear of violence or rejection, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
- Medicine has come a long way, baby. If you’re pregnant with HIV, the risk of passing it to your baby is less than 0.1%, but it’s vital that you work with a healthcare professional. Don’t wait.
- HIV is spread through sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment. Never share needles. It increases your risk of infections.
- Do you live with HIV? Take your medication as prescribed daily. It reduces your viral load and lowers the chance of transmitting HIV during sex to an HIV-negative partner.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY
National HIV Testing Day calls for preventative care. Get tested. Visit a location near you and learn about preventing the spread of the virus. Be informed, protect yourself, and others. Other ways to participate include:
- Learn more about prevention and risk factors.
- Help eliminate the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS through education.
- Find a clinic near you for testing.
- Support research programs.
- Visit aids.gov to learn more about the event.
- The cdc.gov offers information and links to services.
- Visit the aidsinfo.nih.gov for a complete overview of the disease, research, and more.
Use #NationalHIVTestingDay to share and follow on social media.
NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY HISTORY
The National Association of People with AIDS sponsors National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) to promote HIV testing and to help prevent the spread of the virus. The first NHTD was observed on June 27, 1995.