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Eliminating HIV/AIDS: How We'll Get to Zero


Universal, Routine Testing

Universal, Routine Testing

It's no secret that a key step in the fight against HIV is ensuring everyone knows his or her status. But that isn't happening.

In the U.S. alone, 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and 20% of them are unaware of their HIV status, despite official recommendations that virtually everyone be tested. Not knowing your status means you are not on treatment and are at much greater risk of transmitting the virus to others. The key is early and consistent testing.

In very few parts of the world is getting an HIV test as routine as getting a regular checkup from a doctor. One exception: Thanks to "opt-out" and mandatory testing rules for pregnant women, a growing number of countries have virtually eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission. Another exception is in Vancouver, Canada, where two hospitals seek to test all people who are admitted.

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