amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

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June 27 Is National HIV Testing Day

June 27 Is National HIV Testing DayAn estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, yet one in eight are unaware they are infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Without knowledge of their infection, the virus goes untreated and a person can unknowingly spread it to others. The CDC estimates that more than 90 percent of all new infections could be prevented by diagnosing people who have HIV and linking them to care and treatment.

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, an annual observance started in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS to promote testing and early diagnosis. Communities throughout the country will sponsor free HIV testing events and awareness campaigns to encourage people to learn their status. This year’s theme is “Doing It."

While it’s been 35 years since the first cases of HIV/AIDS were identified in the U.S., misperceptions about transmission of the virus persist, leading many Americans to believe they don’t need to be tested. Studies show that more than half of American adults have never been tested for HIV.

With testing being the only way to conclusively know one's HIV status, the CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get screened at least once as part of a routine health check. People with certain risk factors are urged to get tested more frequently. Testing is free and confidential.

For more information about events, testing locations, and resources visit the National HIV Testing Day website (https://npin.cdc.gov/nhtd/).