Too many people—nearly 1 in 8—who are living with HIV don’t know they have it. That means they aren’t getting the medicine they need to stay healthy and to help keep from transmitting HIV to their partners. What is more, a recent CDC analysis showed that 30% of new HIV infections were transmitted from people who did not know that they were infected.
On National HIV Testing Day we are reminded that we can stop HIV together—by getting the facts, getting tested, and getting involved.
GET THE FACTS.
At CDC, we have the privilege of sharing people’s stories. For example, Cedric, an HIV advocate since 2007 shared the importance of education.
|“Education is such a key factor. When I was first diagnosed with HIV, I didn’t have the knowledge and thought of HIV as a death sentence. It’s not a death sentence. Whether you’re living with HIV or not, it’s important to know the facts so that we can all relay truthful, useful, and accurate information about HIV. The more we understand about HIV, how it is transmitted (and not), and how to prevent it, the less cause for fear. If you arm yourself with the facts, then you’re going to dispel your fears.” ~ Cedric, HIV advocate since 2007|
Learn the basics about HIV, how to prevent HIV transmission, and the steps you can take to protect yourself and others.
Mark, who has been living with HIV since 1985, explains the importance of testing.
|“The impact of this disease can be found in every corner of our society. So too is the unwavering stigma, stereotypes, and shame that are too often associated with HIV in day-to-day life. Today—more so than any other day—represents a prime opportunity to dispel the myths and stigma associated with HIV testing, and to reach those who have never been tested before or who have engaged in high-risk behavior since their last test.” ~ Mark, living with HIV since 1985|
Getting tested has never been easier. You can ask your health care provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers, and hospitals offer them, too. You can also
- Visit Get Tested and enter your ZIP code.
- Text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948), and you will receive a text back with a testing site near you.
- Call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) to ask for free testing sites in your area.
- Contact your local health department.
- Get a home testing kit (the Home Access HIV-1 Test System or the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test) from a drugstore.
Raquel, who has been living with HIV since 1992, shares the importance of getting involved in the work against HIV.
|“As a transgender woman living with HIV for over 23 years, I decided to get involved because I wanted my voice to be heard. For nearly 20 years now I’ve shared my life as an openly HIV-positive trans activist working both independently and together in conjunction with national organizations, public health organizations, media and other partners, networks, and coalitions in a concerted effort to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, testing, prevention, communication, and mobilization goals and strategies. In essence, it’s easy to get involved and a little help can go a long way. Whether you commit to being an advocate who responds year-round to address HIV or simply encourage one person today to get tested for HIV, we all must get involved. Let’s all do our part to #StopHIVTogether. Together, we must do more.” ~ Raquel, living with HIV since 1992|
It is possible to stop HIV in the United States, but to do so every one of us must act.
- Share your knowledge of HIV or your personal HIV story with others, like the participants in CDC’s HIV awareness campaign Let’s Stop HIV Together.
- Use social media to increase HIV awareness. Follow @TalkHIV and tweet about National HIV Testing Day using #NHTD. You can also like Act Against AIDS on Facebook.
- Support people living with HIV. Have an open, honest conversation about staying safe and healthy. Listen to the challenges that people living with HIV face and provide support for their special needs.
- Volunteer in your community.