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National HIV Testing Day --- June 27, 2008

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, which focuses on the importance of knowing one's current human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection status. In 2003, approximately 25% of the estimated 1 million persons in the United States infected with HIV were unaware of their infection (1). CDC encourages learning one's HIV status through HIV testing (2) and has recommended that voluntary HIV testing be offered routinely in health-care settings to all persons aged 13--64 years (3). Persons at higher risk for HIV should get tested more frequently (e.g., men who have sex with men should get tested at least annually). To address the disproportionately high rate of HIV infection among blacks, CDC has increased HIV testing opportunities in 23 geographic areas with the largest number of HIV cases, so that more blacks can know their HIV status (4).

Persons who learn that they are infected with HIV at an earlier stage of infection can survive longer by receiving appropriate care and can prevent transmitting HIV to others. Additional information, including a list of testing sites, is available at http://www.hivtest.org.

References

  1. Glynn M, Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003 [Abstract T1-B1101]. Programs and abstracts of the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference; June 12--15, 2005; Atlanta, GA. Available at http://www.aegis.com/conferences/nhivpc/2005/t1-b1101.html.
  2. CDC. Advancing HIV prevention: new strategies for a changing epidemic---United States, 2003. MMWR 2003;52:329--32.
  3. CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-14).
  4. CDC. A heightened national response to the HIV/AIDS crisis among African Americans. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/resources/reports/heightendresponse.htm.

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Date last reviewed: 6/26/2008

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