National HIV Testing Day (NHTD)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, and one in seven of them don’t know that they have it1. To put this into perspective, one out of the seven people around you (classmates, workmates, and yoga class) may have HIV and not know it. Not knowing your status is very dangerous. According to a recent report, nearly 40% of new HIV transmissions in 2016 came from people who didn’t know they had HIV1. It is said that “ignorance is bliss” but never in this case.
Did you know that there’s a day dedicated for HIV testing? National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) was first observed on June 27, 19952. NHTD is a day to encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get linked to care and treatment. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care1. People at higher risk (anyone sexually active and/or IV drug users) should get tested more frequently. There are many ways to get tested: at your health care provider’s office, at testing sites (community health clinics provide rapid testing), and now, even from the comfort of your home.
This June 27th, I encourage you all to get tested. Visit https://gettested.cdc.gov/ to find a testing site near you. However you choose to do it, alone or go with a partner, friend, or family member… get tested and know your current status.
Get tested and know your status.