Missed Nat’l HIV Testing Day? Get Tested Anyway
Last Friday was National HIV Testing Day, but even if you missed it, or forgot, or didn’t even know about it, don’t worry because getting tested is important every day. This year’s annual theme is "Take the Test, Take Control."
Since HIV first surfaced in the early 1980s, it has killed more than 35 million people worldwide. But today, advances in medicine, including antiretroviral medications can help people with HIV live very long lives.
Getting tested for HIV isn’t solely about your own health. It’s also about helping to stop an epidemic. Nearly half of all new HIV cases are spread by someone who doesn’t know they have the virus.
Although infection rates have declined among men who have sex with men from the peak of the epidemic in the mid-1980s, they are now creeping back up, to about 30,000 new infections per year today. And men who have sex with men still made up about two-thirds of the estimated 50,000 new annual infections in the United States.
Greg Millett, Vice President and Director of Public Policy for AmFar says HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. "It’s critically important that every American gets tested at least once. It’s even more important that people in high risk groups get tested multiple times each year - 16-18 percent of those with HIV don’t know it," said Millett.