Health Center News, Uncategorized

National HIV Testing Day: Take the Test. Take Control.

NHTD_FacesRibbonX11_508 Every nine and half minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV. More than one in five  people (or 20 percent) are unaware of their infection. To promote HIV Testing across the country, every June 27 the government and other organizations observe National HIV Testing Day.   This year’s National HIV Testing Day theme, “Take the Test. Take Control,” encourages people to take control of their health by taking the test to receive the information they need to make decisions about their well-being.

Unfortunately, many people find out they are infected when they are in later stages of the disease.  That trend can change with early testing. About 78 percent of Community Health Centers offer HIV testing and counseling to over 883,000 patients (according to 2011, the most recent data available) and many of them have been promoting HIV Testing Day across their social media platforms—offering a quick, 10 minute test.

Many other organizations are also offering the public information and resources to promote HIV testing in their communities, as well as ways to locate local HIV testing and care sites.

The AIDS.gov site offers information on local testing sites, multimedia tools like buttons, widgets, and videos to promote National Testing Day. It also includes links to information on the Affordable Care Act and HIV, as well as other CDC supported campaigns that promote testing and ending the stigma around HIV.

Another, new website illustrates the HIV epidemic in the U.S. with an interactive online map. AIDSVu offers users a way to visually explore HIV statistics across the U.S.  To provide more detailed information on HIV in America, the map allows users to filter the information by age, sex, and race to determine the prevalence of HIV in various groups.  Users can also filter by various social determinants of health to see how factors, such as education level or income inequality, relate to HIV prevalence.  These maps and data sets can also be downloaded to use in presentations of handouts.

For more information on HIV/AIDS visit the AIDS.gov website.

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