National HIV Testing Day highlights the importance of HIV testing and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Of the over 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, more than 200,000 are unaware of their infection, and may unknowingly be transmitting the virus to others. Knowing your HIV status is a vital step toward accessing life-extending treatment for HIV, and thanks to ongoing research, that treatment is more effective than ever.
In July 2010, my Administration released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which emphasizes the goals of reducing infections, improving health outcomes, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. Two years into its implementation, the Strategy continues to focus Federal, State, and local efforts on improving the delivery of HIV/AIDS services, including expanding outreach, testing, linkage to care, and treatment.
Testing remains a special priority – and thanks to quick and accurate tests, finding out your HIV status has never been easier. The Affordable Care Act now requires many health insurance plans to provide recommended preventive health services with no out of pocket costs, giving millions of Americans better access to HIV testing. Another CDC program, the Expanding Testing Initiative, has conducted 2.8 million tests in its first three years. Together, these and other efforts will help prevent new infections and ensure that people living with HIV lead healthy lives – moving us towards our goal of an AIDS-free generation.