National HIV Testing Day is observed on June 27th. This year’s theme is “Doing it My Way, Testing for HIV”. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV today, but 1 in 7 of them DO NOTknow it. Unfortunately, these numbers are not surprising when viewed with the significant role stigma plays in driving an individual’s decision to get tested or not. As we celebrate National HIV Testing Day, take a look at some the ways HIV testing is crucial to you and our community:
- Early HIV detection is beneficial because the sooner an individual starts treatment, the less likely he or she will get sick because of opportunistic infections.
- An individual who does not know his or her status is more likely to transmit the virus than an individual who knows.
- Knowing your status gives you the ultimate control of your healthcare so that you can adequately advocate for yourself.
- May encourage someone else in your family or the community to get tested.
- Send the message that HIV stigma does not win!
As the Mississippi Center for Justice continues to fight for the rights of individuals living with HIV, we encourage you to get tested to know your status. To find a testing center near you, click here.
Alecia Reed-Owens is a Staff Attorney in the Health Law Division of the Mississippi Center for Justice.