First observed on June 27, 1995, National HIV Testing Day is a day to encourage people
to get tested for HIV, know their status and access high-quality, personalized care. Even though getting tested can be scary, “knowing” allows you to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and others, as well as understand the various treatment options available to you.
Below you’ll find four excellent reasons why you should get tested for HIV this June 27.
1. For Your Partner
It can take several weeks for the symptoms of HIV to appear, and even then, you might mistake it for being a bad case of the flu. Because of these confusing symptoms, some people are unaware they have the virus. Testing is the first step to knowing your status. If you find out that you are positive, you can take the next step to accessing HIV care and preventing the spread to others.
2. For Yourself
Knowing your status is important for yourself just as it is for others. Although HIV does cause symptoms, they are not a reliable way to tell if you’re infected. The only way to know for certain is by getting tested. If you are negative, you can ask about PrEP, a medication option that can help prevent HIV transmission. If you are positive, you can start treatment and stay healthy.
3. To Learn About Your Options
Many people fear bad news on their HIV test, but rest assured that today’s treatments are more effective than ever. If you do discover that you’re HIV positive, you can start treatment right away. Most people can get the virus under control in just six months.
The goal of treatment is to reach an “undetectable viral load”, which means an antiretroviral treatment has reduced your HIV to such small quantities, they can no longer be detected by standard blood tests. Research has shown that people with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the virus.
4. It’s Quick and Easy
Lastly, it’s important to know that getting an HIV test is quick and easy. VNA Health Group has a program called the Prevention Resource Network to offer free rapid tests in our communities. Our tests only involve a finger stick. Within 20 minutes, you’ll get the results from your test and can move forward with either prevention or treatment.
Get Tested for HIV on July 27
If you’re interested in testing for HIV, The Prevention Resource Network provides HIV rapid testing in Monmouth and Northern Ocean Counties. This is a free, confidential service completed in just 20 minutes. To learn more about rapid testing for HIV contact the PRN.