National HIV Testing Day is on June 27th — it’s a day to get the facts, get tested, and get involved! In the United States, approximately 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t know they have it. Nearly 45,000 people find out they have HIV every year. HIV testing is the gateway to prevention and care.
CommunityHealth strongly advocates for all patients to receive HIV testing. Through our opt-out screening protocol, we tell patients that an HIV test will be included in the standard group of blood tests, and they have the option to decline the test. This approach helps us achieve a high screening rate — our most recent report shows 73% of current patients have been tested for HIV at least once. For comparison, the national HIV testing rate is only 54%!
Historically, all of our HIV-positive patients were referred to specialized HIV care providers for all ongoing treatment. As antiretroviral therapies have advanced, patient care has become much more streamlined and involves fewer drug interactions and side effects. Due to these improvements, HIV-positive patients are living longer and have the potential to develop other chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. To accommodate the changing health needs of this population, CommunityHealth has recently changed its policy so patients can receive all of their non-HIV care at our health center.
Find more information about HIV testing, and who should be tested, on CDC’s HIV Testing Basics web page.
To find a testing site near you:
You can also use a home testing kit available in drugstores or online.