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27

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National HIV Testing Day

Posted by on June 27th, 2017 Posted in: General (all entries), Health Literacy, Public Health
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HIV Testing

Graphic provided by CDC.

Today is National HIV Testing Day, and we at SCR want to inform you about the importance of getting tested for HIV and AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.

In the United States, there are 1.1 million people who have HIV, and 1 in every 7 don’t know they have it. In the SCR region, 110,721 people were living with diagnosed AIDS according to the last report in 2014 from AIDSvu. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. In the United States, 1 in 8 people living with HIV don’t know they have it.

Even if you don’t feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important. Early treatment can help you live a longer, healthier life. Treatment can also make it less likely that you will pass HIV on to other people. HIV and AIDS is only dangerous nowadays if you don’t know you have it. Once you know, you can treat it, and lead a normal, healthy life.

Are you at risk for HIV?

HIV is spread through some of the body’s fluids, like blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is passed from one person to another by:

  • Having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) without barrier contraception
  • Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
  • Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
  • Getting a transfusion of blood that’s infected with HIV (very rare in the United States)

Under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover HIV testing. Talk to your insurance company to learn more.

Free HIV testing is also available at some testing centers and health clinics. You can find a nationwide list of centers on the CDC’s website.

To learn more about National HIV Testing Day and HIV in the United States, visit the CDC’s website.

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Graphic provided by CDC.

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