The need for HIV testing is clear: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that in the U.S. more than 1 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS, but 200,000 aren’t aware of their infection. ASHA President and CEO Lynn B. Barclay says, “Early detection of HIV infection is critical, as treatment is more effective the sooner it’s started. Programs to encourage testing, especially among those most at risk, should be a critical public health priority.” Barclay noted that HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts African-Americans, young people, and men who have sex with men.
CDC recommends routine HIV testing in U.S. health care settings for all individuals ages 13-64, regardless of risk factors. Barclay says that while some groups may be at higher risk, anyone can contract HIV: “Every community is impacted by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; no one should think they’re immune. We encourage anyone who is sexually active to use condoms and get tested – you and your health are important!”
To find an HIV testing site in your area:
• text your Zip Code to “KNOWIT” (566948)
• visit www.HIVtest.org
• call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)
To learn more about HIV testing and prevention, visit ASHA’s STI Resource Center at www.ASHAstd.org.
The American Social Health Association (ASHA) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1914 to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities, with a focus on educating about and preventing sexually transmitted infections. ASHA’s educational web sites include: www.ASHAstd.org, www.iwannaknow.org (teen site), and www.quierosaber.org (Spanish language site).