HEALTH DEPARTMENT NOTES
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day
National HIV Testing Day is June 27. On this annual observance, we encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get into treatment right away if they have HIV. This year’s theme, Doing It My Way, is a call to action that encourages people to get tested for HIV in a way that is comfortable for them. You can test at your local health department, at another testing site, or even at home. You can test alone or go with a partner, friend or family member. However you choose to do it, get tested and know your current HIV status. About 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know they have it. People with HIV need to get a diagnosis as soon as possible so they can get treatment. Taking HIV medicine as prescribed can keep them healthy and protect their partners. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and those at high risk get tested at least once a year. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (every three to six months). On this day, we also urge everyone to learn more about the proposed federal initiative Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, which gives us hope that new HIV diagnoses can be dramatically reduced in the U.S. in the next decade. With today’s powerful tools, we can prevent HIV and help people with HIV stay healthy. What Can You Do? • Get the Facts. Learn about HIV, and share this lifesaving information with your family, friends and community. Tell them about the importance of making HIV testing a part of their regular health routine. • Get Tested. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy. People with certain risk factors should get tested more often. Learn what those risk factors are and how often you should be tested. The Woodford County Health Department is the designated testing site for HIV in Woodford County. All tests are confidential, and the person has the option to remain anonymous. The health department also provides counseling for each patient tested for HIV. • Get Involved. CDC offers many resources to help you raise awareness about HIV testing in your community. For more information on HIV testing, please call the health department at 873-4541.