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National HIV Testing Day Calls Us All to Action

Photo: A group of men and womenGetting tested for HIV is easy. More testing opportunities are now available, especially around June 27th, National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). During the week of the 21st, up to NHTD, there will be thousands of organizations offering HIV testing and hosting special NHTD events. Take the Test, Take Control.

Graphic: Take the test. Take control. National HIV Testing Day. June 27.More than one million people in the United States are living with HIV.  Of those one million people, CDC estimates one out of five does not know they are infected.

CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime. Testing once a year (or more frequently) is recommended for people at high risk, such as gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, or people with multiple sexual partners. CDC also recommends that pregnant women get tested early in their pregnancy so steps can be taken that will prevent transmission of HIV to her baby.

It is important that everyone know their HIV status. Studies show that when people find out they are living with HIV, they take steps to protect their own health (by seeking medical care) and that of their partners.

National HIV Testing Day

This year marks the 17th National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), organized annually by the National Association of People with AIDSExternal Web Site Icon (NAPWA) with support from CDC and AIDS.gov. NAPWA and other NHTD organizers reach out to communities at increased risk of HIV infection, especially gay and bisexual men, African American and Latino populations.

Photo: Two menNational Efforts to Expand HIV Testing and Awareness About Testing

CDC continues to work with federal, state and local partners to expand routine HIV testing – not just on NHTD, but all year long. CDC's 5-year communication campaign, Act Against AIDSExternal Web Site Icon aims to combat complacency about the HIV crisis in the United States. The campaign features targeted messages regarding awareness and testing to the populations most severely affected by HIV. Since its launch last year, Act Against AIDS has embarked on several initiatives that reinforce CDC's continued commitment to increasing access to HIV testing in United States, such as the recently launched "HIV Screening. Standard Care." program, designed to increase routine HIV testing in doctors' offices, and the "i knowExternal Web Site Icon" social media initiative designed to reach young adult African Americans with HIV prevention messages and HIV testing information. For NHTD, CDC is working with Greater than AIDSExternal Web Site Icon and Get Yourself TestedExternal Web Site Icon (GYT) campaigns to increase HIV and STD testing in 7 cities (through TV/Radio PSAs, on-line banner ads and celebrity spokespeople.)

Together, we can prevent HIV/AIDS, one voice, one experience, one community at a time.

By CDC