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National HIV Testing Day --- June 27, 2005

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is June 27. NHTD is sponsored by the National Association of People with AIDS to encourage persons at risk to receive voluntary counseling and testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This year's theme, "Take the Test. Take Control," highlights the need for testing and counseling persons at risk to maintain their health and protect their partners. In addition, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the first commercially available HIV test (1), and NHTD offers an opportunity to recognize how much progress has been made in diagnosing, counseling, treatment, and care since 1985.

Approximately 1 million persons in the United States are HIV positive, and nearly one quarter of those infected are not aware of their infections (2). HIV testing has become easier, more accessible, and less invasive than ever before (3). Persons who know they are infected can benefit from advances in medical care to prolong their lives and can take action to prevent transmission of HIV to others (4).

Additional information about where to get tested for HIV and local events being held to encourage testing among populations at greatest risk (e.g., non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and men who have sex with men) is available at http://www.hivtest.org.

References

  1. R Aragón, J Kates. The AIDS epidemic at 20 years: selected milestones. Washington, DC: Kaiser Family Foundation; 2001. Available at http://www.kff.org/docs/AIDSat20.
  2. Glynn M, Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003 [Abstract T1-B1101]. Presented at the National HIV Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA; June 2005.
  3. CDC. Advancing HIV prevention: new strategies for a changing epidemic---United States, 2003. MMWR 2003;52:329--32.
  4. CDC. Revised guidelines for HIV counseling, testing, and referral. MMWR 2001;50(No. RR-19).



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