Note: Yesterday President Obama issued a statement on National HIV Testing Day
Thirty years ago, at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there was no test for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For many, there was only the long and worrisome wait for the signs of infection. Once those signs appeared, no treatment for the virus was available. I personally cared for many, many patients in this era, and I am thankful that those days are over. Today, HIV testing is accurate, widely available, and often free—and treatment can help people living with HIV enjoy long, healthy lives, especially when they get diagnosed early.
The good news is that more people are being tested for HIV than ever before. It is estimated that almost 83 million American adults between 18 and 64 have been tested for HIV, as of 2009. That’s an increase of more than 11 million from 2006 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that HIV testing become a routine part of medical care for adults and adolescents.
However, more than half of American adults still have never taken an HIV test. That’s why we need to spread that message that HIV testing saves lives and why Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)*