Wednesday, June 27, 2007

National HIV Testing Day


From Wormwood's Doxy:

You think HIV is old news, right?
Since we have drugs, and HIV is no longer the death sentence it was in the early 1980s (at least in the developed world), we don’t have to worry about it, right?

Tell that to the 40,000+ Americans who will contract HIV this year.

Tell that to the 1 million+ Americans who are living with HIV.

In particular, tell it to the 25% of that latter group who have no idea they are HIV-infected---and who therefore put every one of their sexual partners (and their sexual partners, etc.) at risk out of ignorance.

I’ve been writing about HIV professionally for seven years now. The numbers haven’t come down in that time, despite our best efforts. And all the data I’m seeing now indicate that the numbers are going up. The prevalence rates for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in major metropolitan areas are rising dramatically.
STIs are harbingers of HIV/AIDS. They serve almost as a public address system---“This person is engaging in unsafe sexual practices!” They also make people more susceptible to HIV infection.

Mark my words, HIV is going to be news again. The question is: Will anyone pay attention?
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

An estimated 250,000 people in the United States are HIV/AIDS positive and don't even know it.

HHS is pleased to support National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

National HIV Testing Day is critical to the fight against HIV/AIDS because it presents an opportunity for people nationwide to learn their HIV status, and to gain the knowledge they need to take control of their health and their lives.

National HIV Testing Day also provides an invaluable opportunity to dispel the myths and stigma associated with HIV testing, and to reach those who have never been tested or who have engaged in high-risk behavior since their last test.
You can find an HIV testing site near you here.

Take the Test. Take Control.

J.

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