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National HIV Testing Day --- June 27, 2011

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, which promotes testing as an important strategy to prevent and treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Persons who learn that they have HIV can receive appropriate treatment, monitoring, and health care, and in doing so, delay disease progression, extend their lives, and reduce the chance that they will transmit the virus to others. To increase HIV testing, improve awareness of HIV status, and enable earlier diagnosis of HIV infection, CDC recommends that all persons aged 13--64 years be screened for HIV in health-care settings with prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection ≥0.1% (1). CDC also recommends that persons with increased risk for HIV be retested at least annually.

At the end of 2008, approximately 20% of the estimated 1.2 million persons living with HIV were undiagnosed and unaware of their infection (2). In 2008, an estimated 33% of all HIV diagnoses were late diagnoses, often made after persons had already developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (3). Also, a recent study of men who have sex with men found a 6.9% prevalence of new infections among those who had tested negative during the preceding year (4). These findings indicate the continuing importance of getting tested for HIV, and for persons at higher risk for HIV, getting retested at least annually.

Information about HIV testing is available at http://www.cdc.gov/features/hivtesting and http://www.hivtest.org.

References

  1. CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-14).
  2. CDC. HIV surveillance---United States, 1981--2008. MMWR 2011;60:689--93.
  3. CDC. HIV/AIDS surveillance report, 2009. Vol. 21. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2011.
  4. CDC. HIV testing among men who have sex with men---21 cities, United States, 2008. MMWR 2011;60:694--9.


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