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Press Release

HIV/AIDS Update --Take the Test / Take Control: National HIV Testing Day

June 27, 2009

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, promoting testing as an important strategy to prevent and control transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.

The Food and Drug Administration is joining other federal agencies in promoting National HIV Testing Day, Saturday, June 27. The purpose of National HIV Testing Day is to increase awareness of the importance of HIV testing to help improve the health of those at risk for getting HIV and to prevent future infections. But don't let the message last just one day.

Knowing your HIV status is an important step toward preventing the spread of HIV. When you take the test, you can take control.

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Knowing that you are not infected helps to make better decisions about risks and behaviors.

Knowing HIV status at an early stage of infection allows people who have the virus to receive appropriate monitoring, treatment, and supportive health care that can improve and extend their lives.

Early diagnosis of HIV infection can delay progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and reduce transmission of HIV to others. But the CDC estimates that in 2006, an estimated 232,700 people, some 21% of those living with HIV infection in the United States, were not aware of their HIV infection status.*

An HIV test is quick and simple. Two valuable and easy to use resources have been developed to promote HIV testing in conjunction with National HIV Testing Day and make finding a testing site easier:

On the web, the CDC can help you find an HIV testing site (including free testing sites) by zip code, near where you work or live, at www.HIVtest.org.

Text Messaging to Promote HIV Testing. Mobile phone users can send a text message with their zip code to "KNOWIT" (566948). Within seconds, they will receive a text message identifying an HIV testing site near them. This mobile phone service connects users with same CDC testing database found at www.HIVtest.org.

Each of us can do our part to help slow the spread of HIV/AIDS, protect our own health, and the health of those we love. We hope you will join with us in observing National HIV Testing Day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) has launched a new HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. Although HIV infection is preventable, every 9½ minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with the virus. The Act Against AIDS campaign is designed to contribute to the goal of reducing HIV incidence in the United States.

For more information about HIV/AIDS, or about National HIV Testing Day, go to www.AIDS.gov.



  
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This article was provided by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Visit the FDA's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
 
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