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National HIV Testing Day --- June 27, 2009

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, which promotes testing as an important strategy to prevent and control transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States. Knowing HIV status at an early stage of infection allows persons to receive appropriate monitoring, treatment, and supportive health care that can extend their lives. Early diagnosis of HIV infection can delay progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and reduce transmission of HIV to others. Nonetheless, in 2006, an estimated 232,700 persons, 21% of those living with HIV infection in the United States, were not aware of their HIV infection status (1).

To enable earlier diagnosis of HIV infection, CDC recommends that all persons aged 13--64 years be offered voluntary HIV testing routinely during health-care visits and that persons at greater risk for HIV be tested more frequently (e.g., at least annually for sexually active men who have sex with men) (2). CDC has increased HIV testing opportunities nationwide, notably in areas with the largest number of AIDS cases among African Americans, to reach those at highest risk for acquiring HIV (3). Additional information on HIV testing resources is available at http://www.hivtest.org.

References

  1. CDC. HIV prevalence estimates---United States, 2006. MMWR 2008;57:1073--6.
  2. CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-14).
  3. 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: 6/25/2009

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