Today is National HIV Testing Day.
Why is this necessary?
Because there are more than one million people in the United States living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). And about one in six of those people do not know they are infected, leaving them and their sexual partners vulnerable to a disease that kills without treatment. People who inject drugs are also at high risk for acquiring HIV.
The good news is that medical science has developed antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV infection, allowing people to live longer, healthier lives in many cases equivalent to the general population. But there is still no cure for the disease.
In Connecticut, 51 percent of the 21,000 people with cases of HIV reported from 1981 to 2014 are alive and living with the virus. Of those people, 67 percent are male and 81 percent are 40 and older.
Of the most recently reported cases of HIV in the state, black males were diagnosed at a rate about eight times as high as white males. And black females made up about 72 percent of new diagnoses.
Only 35 percent of adult respondents to a state survey reported having ever been tested for HIV even as 27 percent had recently participated in activities putting them at high risk for contracting the virus.
Take your health into your own hands. Talk to your health care provider about what testing might be right for you. Understand that it’s best to only have sex with someone who is only having sex with you. Don’t share needles. Use a condom. And use your head.
Click here for HIV/AIDS services in Connecticut.
For questions, please contact Rick Harrison, Communications Officer, at 203-764-6610 or email@example.com.