The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that “National HIV Testing Day is an annual observance to encourage people of all ages to get tested for HIV and to know their status…Testing is the only way for the approximately 156,300 Americans living with undiagnosed HIV to know their HIV status and get into care.”(1)
The CDC estimates that “more than 90% of all new infections could be prevented by proper testing and linking HIV positive persons to care…If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.”(1)
NICOA’s Executive Director Randella Bluehouse provides, “There is a limited amount of research on the numbers of older American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) elders living with HIV/AIDS today. We know other factors such as the life expectancy of an AI/AN elder is shorter than for other races in the United States. It is also known that AI/AN access to health care is poor. Many Older AI/AN see the devastation HIV/AIDS can cause and are talking out loud about the disease and are open to learning more to support their communities.”(2)
What better day than National HIV Testing Day for everyone to learn more about HIV/AIDS, talk out loud about the disease, and schedule an appointment to get tested. To find a testing center near you, visit gettested.cdc.gov or to learn more visit the CDC’s website.
1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). What is National HIV Testing Day? | Get Tested. Retrieved June 22, 2017, from https://gettested.cdc.gov/content/what-national-hiv-testing-day
2) Diverse Elders Coalition. (2014). Eight Policy Recommendations for Improving the Health and Wellness of Older Adults with HIV.