amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
Published Tuesday, June 23, 2020
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day
Nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, yet 1 in 7 of them don't know it. Black Americans are most likely to have undiagnosed infections, followed by Latinx individuals.
Each year on June 27, communities across the country observe National HIV Testing Day to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis. The 2020 theme is “Knowing”—know your HIV status, know your risk, and know your options for prevention and treatment.
People who don’t know they’re positive do not seek treatment and may unknowingly spread the virus to others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges testing at least once for everyone aged 13 to 64 and annual tests for those at high risk. The CDC estimates that more than 90% of new infections could be prevented if infected individuals knew their status and took precautions to prevent transmission of the virus.
People who test positive can take antiretrovirals to stay healthy; those who test negative can continue to take steps to prevent HIV infection, such as always using a condom or taking a daily preventive pill called PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in high-risk individuals by up to 92%. And those who have reduced their HIV to an undetectable level using antiretrovirals cannot spread the virus to others (undetectable = untransmittable).
With effective HIV treatments widely available, the imperative for testing has never been greater. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited face-to-face meetings with medical professionals, there are options for rapid self- and mail-in HIV tests.
amfAR encourages everyone on National HIV Testing Day and every other day to get tested. Let’s stop HIV together.
Know your status. Know your risk. Know your options.
© 2020 amfAR All Rights Reserved || amfAR's mission is to end the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research