amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

National HIV Testing Day Is June 27

testing dayMore than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV; however, 1 in 7 of them don't know it. Young people are the most likely to be unaware they are infected.

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, an annual observance to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis. The day was created in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS to spread the “Take the Test, Take Control" message across the country. The 2018 theme is “Doing It My Way, Testing for HIV.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges testing at least once for everyone aged 13 to 64 and annual tests for those who engage in high-risk behavior. It estimates that more than 90% of all new infections could be prevented if infected individuals were aware of their status and took precautions to lessen the likelihood of spreading the virus to someone else.

Those 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 pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. 

With effective HIV treatments widely available, the imperative for testing has never been greater. And the convenience and access to HIV tests means knowing your status has never been easier.

amfAR encourages everyone on National HIV Testing Day and every other day to get tested, know their status, and get involved. Early treatment is key to fighting this disease.

Learn more about HIV testing here.