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HIV Testing

Test Today. Don’t Delay.

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1 in 2 people with HIV have had the virus at least 3 years before diagnosis.

About 40% of new HIV infections come from people who don’t know they have HIV.

7 in 10 people at high risk for HIV who weren’t tested last year saw a healthcare provider during that year.

Overview

It is important for everyone to know their HIV status. Getting an HIV test is the first step for people living with HIV to get care and treatment and control the infection.* Taking HIV medicine as prescribed helps people living with HIV to live a long, healthy life and protect their sex partners from HIV. About 85% of people with HIV in the US know they have the virus. However, 15% (162,500) of people with HIV don’t know they have the virus, and about 40% of new HIV infections come from them. Half of people with HIV have had the virus 3 years or more before diagnosis. Most people at high risk who didn’t get tested last year saw a healthcare provider during the year. Everyone should get tested at least once, and people at high risk should be tested at least once a year. Healthcare providers can diagnose HIV sooner if they test more people and test people at high risk more often.

 

Healthcare providers can:

  • Routinely provide HIV testing to all people aged 13 to 64, according to CDC guidelines. bit.ly/2eJ8YNz
  • Screen all teens and adults for HIV risk, and test people at high risk at least once a year. This includes some gay and bisexual men who may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).
  • Start people on HIV treatment as quickly as possible after diagnosis.
  • Discuss prevention tools with patients. Provide or refer to prevention services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and services for people who inject drugs. www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk

*Take HIV medicine as prescribed so the amount of HIV in the body gets and stays extremely low (less than 200 copies per milliliter of blood or undetectable level).

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Problem

Many people have HIV for years before they know it.

Many people have HIV for years before they know it.

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What Can Be Done

The Federal government is

  • Funding HIV testing at health departments, clinics, and community-based organizations.
  • Providing testing guidelines. bit.ly/2y12Hex
  • Conducting education, providing prevention services, and informing providers about HIV testing and prevention.
  • Conducting research to improve HIV tests, detect HIV earlier, and improve HIV testing efforts.
  • Measuring progress toward a future free of HIV in the US.

Healthcare providers can

  • Routinely provide HIV testing to all people aged 13 to 64, according to CDC guidelines. bit.ly/2eJ8YNz
  • Screen all teens and adults for HIV risk, and test people at high risk at least once a year. This includes some gay and bisexual men who may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).
  • Start people on HIV treatment as quickly as possible after diagnosis.
  • Discuss prevention tools with patients. Provide or refer to prevention services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and services for people who inject drugs. www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk.

Health departments and community-based organizations can

  • Test people for HIV.
  • Provide or refer to HIV prevention services, including PrEP and services for people who inject drugs.
  • Link people who test positive to HIV medical care quickly.
  • Reduce stigma and help communities understand the benefits of HIV testing, early diagnosis, and treatment.

Everyone can

  • Know their HIV status. See a healthcare provider, find a testing site by visiting gettested.cdc.gov or texting your ZIP code to KNOW-IT (566948), or use a home test.
  • Get tested at least once a year if they are at high risk for HIV.
  • Get tested as soon as possible if they are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
  • Learn how to prevent HIV and protect themselves and their partners. www.cdc.gov/hivrisk

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