amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Separating Fact from Fiction on HIV Testing Day


June 13, 2011—Do you believe your doctor routinely tests you for HIV? Or that you’re not at risk because of your age or marital status?

Thirty years since the first cases of HIV/AIDS were identified in the U.S., numerous myths about the virus persist, leading many Americans to believe they don’t need to be tested. National HIV Testing Day—marked each year on June 27—provides an opportunity for communities to encourage everyone to learn their status. 

testing in bus
An oral HIV test offers results in an hour or less. 

More than 56,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year, a number that has remained stubbornly unchanged for a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Increasing testing rates could help lower the number of new cases, because HIV is most often transmitted by people who are unaware they are infected. The CDC estimates that about a fifth (21 percent) of the one million people living with HIV in the U.S. don’t know they have the virus. That’s 200,000 people.

In preparation for the 17th annual National HIV Testing Day, the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) is planning a series of events around the country, urging people to “Take the Text, Take Control.”

For the latest updates and more information about these events, visit To find a testing location near you, visit