The people's voice of reason

National HIV Testing Day is June 27: Check your status

More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, but one in six does not know they are positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all Americans between the ages of 13-64 get tested for HIV as a part of their routine health care. Early diagnosis and treatment extend life and help prevent the spread of HIV.

June 27 is known as National HIV Testing Day. The National HIV Testing Day theme for 2024 is "Level up yourself love: check your status." This theme emphasizes valuing yourself, showing yourself compassion and respect, and honoring your health needs with self-love. Knowing your HIV status helps each individual choose options to stay healthy.

National Testing Day events are great reminders each year of the importance of knowing your HIV status and for making HIV testing a routine part of medical care. Staying "HIV free" means reducing or eliminating risky behaviors that put you or someone else at risk for contracting the virus.

Vontrese McGhee, Director of the Office of HIV Prevention and Care with the Alabama Department of Public Health, emphasizes, "Getting tested for HIV provides you good baseline information on your test result and what actions to take to stay healthy or seek treatment. Left untreated, HIV infection can cause serious health problems; however, earlier testing can lead to early treatment to stay healthier or delay and prevent complications caused by disease."

Mrs. McGhee said, "Taking care of self is important to maintaining healthy lifestyle....so consider talking to your provider about getting your HIV test today."

For more information about HIV and a free test, visit https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/hiv/

 

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