HIV Testing Day

In case you hadn’t heard, today is National HIV Testing Day.

Nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV.

The scary part? About one in five don’t even know they’re infected.

Many of those who are infected and know about it, don’t find out until they’re already late into the illness. In 2009, 33 percent of HIV-positive people received an AIDS diagnosis within one year of testing HIV positive, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The only way to get a diagnosis is to get tested. Yet, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only about 40.3 percent of U.S. adults (ages 18-64) report ever being testing for HIV.

In Washington, 39.7 percent of adults reported being tested at least once. The other Washington – as in Washington D.C. – has the highest percent of adults having been tested: 68.2 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to improve on those numbers across the country. The CDC has a goal of getting every adult and adolescent tested for HIV at least once in their lives.

This week, the CDC announced an innovative effort to expand HIV testing to pharmacies. The pilot project will offer cheek swab testing at 24 rural and urban sites with the highest HIV rates.

If you’re interested in getting tested, Clark County Public Health has information on its website about testing locations. You can also get tested at your medical provider’s office.

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