National HIV Testing Day
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, a day to get the facts, get tested, and get involved!
This year, an emphasis is being placed on the power of “Knowing.” Knowing your HIV status, knowing your risk, knowing your prevention options, and knowing your treatment options. The only true way for someone to know whether they have HIV is to be tested. According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 people did not know they had it.
For people with undiagnosed HIV, testing is the first step to maintaining a healthy life and reducing the spread of HIV.
• People who test negative have more prevention tools available for them today than ever before.
• People who test positive can take HIV medicines that can keep them healthy for many years and greatly reduce their chance of passing HIV to others.
What Can You Do?
1. Get Tested.
o Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Those who are at a higher risk for HIV should be tested more often.
o More than 90% of new HIV infections in the United States could be prevented by testing and diagnosing people living with HIV and making sure they receive early, ongoing treatment.
o Free testing is available at District Health Department #10 year-round! – call 888-217-3904, option #2 to make an appointment at your local DHD#10 office.
2. Practice Prevention.
o There are more tools than ever to help prevent HIV and STIs including:
Limiting your number of sexual partners
Never share needles
Use condoms the right way every time you have sex; they provide an effective barrier to sexually transmitted infections
Talk to your doctor about your risk for HIV and consider medications like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) which can help reduce your risk of contracting HIV.
3. Get the Facts.
o Learn about HIV, and share this lifesaving information with family, friends and the community.
o Tell others about the importance of making HIV testing a part of a regular health routine.
o Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy. “