I Know. I Took the Test: National HIV Testing Day Call to Action

Back in April, I shared that according to CDC estimates, one of every five people living with HIV in the U.S. is unaware of their HIV status. Stigma remains a barrier to people getting an HIV test. I also asked for your suggestions in naming our National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) initiative which will feature stories from people just like you who have taken an HIV test.

THANK YOU for your suggestions and votes. The winner is: “I Know. I Took the Test”!

As NHTD approaches (June 27th), we have an opportunity to help reduce HIV stigma by sharing our stories and encouraging our loved ones to take an HIV test Exit Disclaimer. Stories can be a powerful tool, and we know there are many powerful HIV testing stories out there. Because new media is about engagement and having a conversation, we’re looking forward to using new media tools in multiple forms – to listen, create, connect and collaborate around HIV testing.

During June, our blog will host the “I Know. I Took the Test” blog series to highlight several HIV testing story campaigns. We’ll be including videos and text from various campaigns in each blog post. We’ll also be encouraging YOU to submit comments about the campaigns and/or about your experiences getting an HIV test. If you are on Twitter Exit Disclaimer, we encourage you to join the conversation about NHTD, and to use the hashtag #NHTD09 Exit Disclaimer in your tweets.

We’re also excited to offer a widget so that you can share the videos on your own blog, website, or social networking site. We’ll be adding new videos to the widget throughout the month, so you’re guaranteed lots of different videos and stories. Just click the “share” button on the bottom of the widget to copy the code.

What can you do?

In addition to leaving comments and sharing the widget, as we think about reducing stigma to encourage HIV testing, I ask you to consider this: 1) When was the last time (if ever) you took an HIV test? and 2) When was the last time (if ever) you shared a story about what getting an HIV test meant to you?

If your answer to one or both of those questions was “never” or “not recently,” I encourage you to make a change and take an HIV test. And to then tell your story about what it meant to you— no matter the test result.

Please join me, the team, and our friends, family, partners, and colleagues in sharing your story. Together we can encourage people to act and say, “I Know, I Took the Test.” Together we can help reduce stigma and promote HIV testing.

Interested in knowing which campaigns we’re going to feature? Check back on our blog on Tuesday to see the first one!