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Today is National HIV Testing Day
June 27th, 2012
01:24 PM ET

Today is National HIV Testing Day

Almost 1.2 million Americans living in the United States are HIV positive,  but about 240,000 (or 1 in 5), don't know they are infected. That's because they have not been tested.

Today is the 18th National HIV Testing Day, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending everyone between the ages 13 and 64 get an AIDS test. 

The CDC says: "An HIV test is recommended once a year for people at increased risk - such as gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, or people with multiple sex partners. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months)."

Founded in 1995 by the National Association of People With AIDS, the annual testing day is an effort to spread the word about the importance of knowing your HIV status. Frank Oldham, NAPWA's president and CEO, says so many people were lost in the early years of the epidemic that knowing your HIV status is the first step toward controlling the disease.

“We understood that getting tested for HIV makes a huge difference in fighting HIV, treating it early, preventing spread of the disease and reducing stigma,” said Oldham. 

He says the fact that more than 20% of people who are HIV positive don't know it, "underscores the urgent need for increased testing and immediate connection to care for those who test HIV-positive. Now in our 19th year of NHTD, we recognize that barriers to HIV testing, treatment and prevention persist but we remain committed to overcoming them through empowerment and education in communities across America.”

In May a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted unanimously in favor of the first ever over-the-counter HIV rapid test kit. The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is an oral test that provides results in 20 minutes and is more than 99% accurate. It is still pending FDA approval and could be on store shelves within months.

There are approximately 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States each year. 

Three years ago the Obama Administration launched a national campaign called Act Against AIDS. The goal was to raise awareness, increase testing, and reduce infections in the hardest hit population like gays and African-Americans.  

On this National HIV Testing Day the CDC is calling on individuals, health care providers and state and local health departments to get involved to help reduce transmission of the virus and promote testing.


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Grace

    We are a new social community (Invention United) working collectively to help universities and companies work toward solving problems like HIV. If you are interested in reading proposals for HIV treatments or making your own suggestions, click this link for more details.

    http://www.inventionunited.com/projects/medicine/hiv

    June 27, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mike

    None of my concern that those people are more likely to get it. That's their own fault. Why is it that we should feel sorry for them because of their lack of judgement and thus they can't live with the end result. HIV/AIDS is natural selection. Granted those who got it because the hospital didn't clean their instruments properly do get my sympathy.

    June 27, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin O

      Mike,

      No one cares what your beliefs are when HIV does not discriminate. You have brought nothing to the table to help. You are worthless to this cause. You are nothing. *poof*

      June 27, 2012 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
  3. Eduard Vijulie

    Please support our indiegogo campaign –

    http://www.indiegogo.com/obligatesymbiosis?a=566327

    Please watch the video so you get a fell of the film. It is a HIV related film.
    I would really appreciate if you (the reader) could share the link on your pages as it will increase the campaign's visibility.

    June 27, 2012 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Kevin O

    HIV infection is only a chronic illness if you can afford the medication.  Without the medication you will almost certainly die of AIDS.  And if you can afford the treatment, you will have negative side effects from the medicines.

    June 27, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Beverly Giterman

    why is this never reported on . Maybe because the pharm co have so much power and you reporters are to afraid to report the truth!! http://goodlight.net/nyvic/health/monkey.htm We wouldn't want to cut in to pharm co. profits even if they are making us sick.

    June 28, 2012 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Soso

    Many clinics do free HIV/Aids teinstg, look in your local yellow pages under HIV/Aids. Also in every county are free clinics for STD teinstg, also look in your phone book for your local county hospital they can direct you.

    August 4, 2012 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Tierra Lassalle

    The cases of hiv infection is actually getting higher and higher instead of getting lower. too many careless people out there. .

    Newly released article provided by our new web-site
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/chlorella-benefits/

    November 11, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.