LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding residents that tomorrow, June 27, is National HIV Testing Day. This year’s theme, “Test Your Way. Do It Today.” is intended to help raise awareness and increase the number of people tested for HIV. The MDHHS Division of HIV and STD Programs is helping promote a series of events and testing opportunities conducted by community partners across the state.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, that number grows by almost 50,000 every year, and one in eight people living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status.
“For those living with HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps them to live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Learning one’s status through testing is the key to HIV treatment, care, and prevention.”
The CDC has found that more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. could be prevented by testing and diagnosing people who have HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment. HIV testing is the essential entry point to a continuum of prevention, health care, and social services that improve the quality of life and the length of survival for persons with HIV. Early linkage to and retention in HIV care is central to managing HIV and promoting health among all people living with HIV.
Medicines to treat HIV can keep people with HIV healthy for many years, and greatly reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to their sex partners. Recent findings show significantly greater health benefits for persons who start antiretroviral therapy earlier.
A list of National Testing Day events is available in the attachment below. For more information about confidential testing, treatment, and counseling, visit www.michigan.gov/survivehiv.
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