June 27 is National HIV Testing Day
June 16, 2010— Are you positive you’re negative? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20 percent of people living with HIV in the U.S. are unaware they’re infected. On June 27, 2010, communities across the country will mark National HIV Testing Day with free testing events and awareness campaigns to encourage people to learn their status.
National HIV Testing Day’s message—“Take the Test, Take Control” —emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for those who are HIV positive. Studies have shown that most HIV-positive people who know their status take steps to avoid transmitting the virus to others. While stigma, denial, and fear still stop many from learning their status, the number of people living with HIV who know they are infected increased from 75 percent in 2003 to 79 percent in 2006, according to the CDC.\
This year, free testing and other special events will take place in 10 cities beginning June 19 as part of the first Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week. The campaign—which includes events in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, and Washington, D.C.—will feature public service ads by celebrities as well as media campaigns aimed at minorities and young people.
For more information about events, testing locations, and resources, visit www.napwa.org, www.hivtest.org, or www.gytnow.org.