June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. This year’s theme, Test Your Way. Do It Today., is a call to get tested now and a reminder that there are more ways than ever to get an HIV test. In a clinic, from your health care provider, at a testing event, at home, from a local organization—get tested your way today!
About 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it. Young people are the most likely to be unaware of their HIV infection. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. But some people are more at risk of getting HIV than others and should be tested at least once a year. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).
Knowing your HIV status is important for your health. If you are living with HIV, you should start treatment as soon as possible. HIV medicine can keep you healthy for many years and greatly reduces your chance of transmitting the virus if you take it the right way every day. And if you’re HIV-negative, you can take steps to prevent HIV. For example, pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.
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