Each year I am honored to see all the ways individuals and groups take action for National HIV Testing Day (June 27) — from conversations with loved ones, to getting tested, to attending or organizing local HIV testing events, to hosting press conferences, to convening online events. This year, I was particularly excited to see so much involvement from so many diverse stakeholders — government (Federal, state, and local), community, private sector, and individuals. We were inspired by CDC’s Dr. Kevin Fenton’s remarks during our National HIV Testing Day webinar for Federal employees and grantees on the current and future state of HIV testing.
“I’m particularly excited about this year’s observance… we have more tools for disseminating life-saving information and more campaigns to promote HIV testing and HIV prevention, more than we’ve had in the past 20 years. And today’s webinar is actually an example of the power of partnership, the strength that we have in numbers, and the strength that we have in sharing information…These activities, as well as the commitment from so many of us on the line, from national and local organizations, the commitment of this administration to develop a National HIV/AIDS Strategy, these are all indicators that positive changes are happening in America.”
At AIDS.gov, we had the honor of participating in a number of different activities for testing day. Here’s a few things we took part in:
- Launched the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Services Locator widget to help people in the U.S. locate HIV testing, prevention, treatment, mental health, substance abuse, and housing services. Many sites are now using the widget, including many of our Federal and community partners.
- We coordinated efforts with the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to promote the widget among their members. We also shared the locator with the faith community through the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships newsletter.
- Organized and hosted an HIV testing webinar for well over 2,000 Federal staff and grantees from across the U.S.
- Collaborated with our Federal agency partners to support the visibility of the President’s NHTD statement, the message from HHS Secretary Sebelius and to support employee education and visibility of the key messages that ground the observance of NHTD nationwide, including offering HIV testing for Federal staff.
- Helped promote and then participated in a Twitter Town Hall hosted by the CDC .
- Shared HIV testing messages with more than 40,000 phoneless people by collaborating with Community Voice Mail. This is the third time we’ve partnered with them, and the second time for National HIV Testing Day.
- Promoted the many Federal and community resources available to highlight the importance of HIV testing.
- Tweeted and retweeted, posted messages on Facebook and MySpace , recorded video and audio podcasts, sent emails, made calls, and used other resources to reach people about the importance of getting an HIV test.
Did you take action for National HIV Testing Day? If so, we would love to know what you did. And we’d love to know the tools and methods you use to promote HIV testing year round!