Get Tested on National HIV Testing Day, June 27
HIV Testing Is Key to HIV Prevention
National HIV Testing Day Reminds Us That HIV Testing Saves Lives
Too many people don’t know they have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). More than 1 million people are living with HIV in the United States, but 1 in 5 don’t know they are infected.
CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. An HIV test is recommended once a year for people at increased risk—such as gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, or people with multiple sex partners. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months). CDC also recommends that pregnant women get tested early in their pregnancy so they can take steps to prevent passing HIV to their babies.
Knowing your HIV status is empowering. When you know your status, you can take care of yourself.
If you find out that you are infected with HIV (or are “HIV positive”), you can seek medical care and get treatment, which helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and also lowers the chances of passing HIV to others. Testing is the first step. Take the test and take charge of your health if you are diagnosed with HIV.
If you don’t have HIV (if you test negative), take steps to stay negative. Remember that if you have unprotected sex or share needles for drug use after your test, you need to get tested again to ensure you are still HIV-negative. Your HIV test result “expires” every time you have risky sex or share needles.
CDC Is Committed to Increasing HIV Testing
CDC continues to work with federal, state, and local partners to expand routine HIV testing—not just on NHTD–but all year long. In 2007, CDC started the Expanded Testing Initiative (ETI) to greatly increase the number of people tested in areas with high rates of HIV and to support of the use of CDC’s Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings.
In 2009, CDC and the White House launched a national campaign, Act Against AIDS, to further expand HIV testing, raise awareness about HIV and AIDS among all Americans, and reduce the risk of infection among the hardest-hit populations. Learn more about the testing and awareness sub-campaigns of Act Against AIDS through the links below.
- Testing Makes Us Stronger encourages African-American gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV.
- Take Charge. Take the Test. encourages African-American women to get tested for HIV.
- HIV Screening. Standard Care. gives primary care providers new tools to help ensure all patients are tested for HIV at least once in their life.
- Prevention IS Care encourages providers who treat patients with HIV to screen them for risky transmission behaviors, and remind them about the importance of protecting themselves and others by reducing risky behaviors.
- One Test. Two Lives. offers health care providers information and resources to encourage them to test pregnant women for HIV infection and help reduce the number of infants born with this disease.
What Can We Do On This National HIV Testing Day And Throughout The Year?
- Get tested for HIV. Ask your doctor for a test or find a place to get tested in your community. Go to www.hivtest.org, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or text your zip code to “KNOW IT” (566948).
- Get tested once a year, or more often if you have more than one sex partner, inject drugs, or are a man who has sex with other men.
- Lower your risk for getting HIV by having sex with only one partner whom you know is uninfected, or using a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
- Get medical care as soon as possible if you have HIV to stay healthier longer and to keep from passing the virus to others.
Health care providers can
- Offer patients HIV tests as a routine part of their health care.
- Test women for HIV each time they are pregnant.
- Connect people at high risk for HIV to services that help them lower their risk and prevent them from getting infected.
- Make sure people who have HIV get treatment and the services they need to stay healthy and lower their risk of passing the virus to others.
- Download materials for health care providers from CDC’s Act Against AIDS website.
State and local health departments can
- Coordinate National HIV Testing Day awareness and testing events to help prevent the spread of HIV and build a local network that responds year-round to the epidemic.
- Create programs and adopt policies to get people at high risk tested early and often. Make sure that those who have a positive test get care quickly.
- Provide services such as medical care, social services, and programs shown to change behavior and lower risk to people at risk for HIV and those living with HIV.
- Take action on social issues that increase the risk of HIV, such as poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism, and discrimination against people who are gay or bisexual.
- Support people living with HIV with needed services such as housing, job training, family planning, and mental health and substance abuse services, and fight stigma and discrimination.
- Promote and use national referral systems for places to get tested, such as www.hivtest.org.
- Use CDC’s Act Against AIDS materials to promote HIV testing in target populations.
- Basic Information
- National HIV Testing Locator
Find an HIV test site near you from the CDC-sponsored service available 24 hours a day.
- HIV Testing
Learn about resources on HIV testing from CDC, including rapid tests, testing in health care settings, and more.
- Follow TalkHIV on Twitter
- Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Respond to AIDS
Find HIV and AIDS resources for businesses and labor organizations.
Federal HIV and AIDS resources.
- Act Against AIDS
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