Welcome to this installment of The AIDS Pandemic. June 27, 2010 is National HIV Testing Day. For many people, this news probably is met with ambivalence. We have a day for everything, it seems. So here it is - another day with another name. We shouldn't, though, link National HIV Testing Day with the made-by-Hallmark days. This day should be different.
On National HIV Testing Day, we all should remind ourselves of the vital role testing plays in our continuing efforts to rid the world of HIV/AIDS. According to the CDC, 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV. Approximately 1 in 5, however, do not know they are infected. This needs to change. When one knows his or her HIV status, he or she is less likely to transmit the virus. Knowing one's status can lead to earlier treatment, and earlier treatment results in better outcomes. For women, knowing one's status can help decrease the rate of mother to child transmission.
National HIV Testing Day is more than just a day marked on the calendar. This day is a reminder to all of us that testing, along with education and prevention, are necessary and interlocked components of our ongoing efforts against this pandemic.
So how can one get tested? Use this helpful testing locator, provided by aids.gov. And tell your friends.