June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. In Texas, roughly 17,000 people living with HIV are unaware of their positive status. Each year in Texas, an estimated 4,500 people acquire HIV.
One of the primary steps to ending the HIV epidemic in Texas, and one of the goals of the Achieving Together Plan, is to increase the number people living with HIV who know their status to 90%. In Texas we estimate that approximately 83% of people living with HIV are aware of their status. To achieve our goal we must increase awareness of the importance of HIV testing and continue to implement innovative strategies to provide people with testing opportunities.
Testing is often the first step for people to access HIV prevention or treatment services. With support in place:
- People who test negative can be offered resources like PrEP and other strategies to stay negative.
- People who test positive can access care and treatment to ensure that they live a long, healthy life. They can also prevent possible HIV transmission by taking medication to achieve viral suppression.
Every year, National HIV Testing Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of knowing your HIV status. This year’s theme is “Doing it My Way” and focuses on the importance of testing while also recognizing that individuals have different preferences for how, when, and where they want to get tested.
“Doing It My Way” encourages people to share their personal stories of why testing is important, what motivates them to get tested and stay healthy, and how they choose to get tested – be it at home, at the clinic, or in the company of a friend or loved one. Use #DoingItMyWay to share why you get tested.
You can use the HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator to find HIV testing and care services locations near you.