The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of five people living with HIV in the U.S. are unaware of their HIV Status.
If you haven't been tested, you're not alone. Knowing your status is important whether you are HIV positive or not. Early diagnosis and treatment save lives. And, if you are HIV negative, it's important to stay that way.
The sense of national urgency and hysteria no longer surrounds the issue of AIDS. It has since been replaced with its antithesis, a pervasive complacency that, in some ways, is just as alarming as the disease itself.
National HIV Testing Day is an opportunity for people nationwide to learn their HIV status and to gain knowledge to take control of their health and their lives.
The CDC recommends everyone get tested for HIV as a matter of routine health care.
National HIV Testing Day's message - "Take the Test, Take Control" - emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for those who are HIV positive. On Monday, June 27, 2011, communities across the country will mark National HIV Testing Day with free testing events and awareness campaigns to encourage people to learn their status.
Facts we should not ignore:
Research has indicated that 75-85% of heterosexual students do not feel at risk for HIV infection.
The CDC estimates that 19 million new sexually-transmitted infections (STI, including HIV) occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24 (Weinstock, Berman, Cates, 2004).
By the age of 24, one in three sexually active people will have contracted a STI (KFF, 1998). Having a STI can increase your chances of getting HIV/AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection usually develops into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
According to a CDC study, 55% of young men (aged 15-22) did not let other people know they were sexually attracted to men. MSM who do not disclose their sexual orientation are less likely to seek HIV testing.
HIV/AIDS is becoming more of a woman's disease. African American women were seven times as likely as white women and eight times as likely as Hispanic women to be HIV-positive.
To protect yourself and those you care about, it's important to:
Know if your partner has ever had an HIV test, used IV drugs, or engaged in risky sexual behaviors
Be honest with your partner(s), if you have AIDS or are HIV-positive
Remember, HIV is preventable, SILENCE IS DEADLY
For more information about events, testing locations, and resources, visit:
www.napwa.org , www.hivtest.org , or www.gytnow.org