Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today unveiled a new national HIV testing campaign and the beta version of an online tool to assist individuals assess and reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV.
The announcements came at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
The national HIV testing campaign, Doing It, features everyday people, community leaders, and celebrities emphasizing that HIV testing is a smart choice to stay healthy. Campaign vignettes highlight people from a spectrum of communities, including gay, bisexual, heterosexual, African-American, Latino, white, men, women, and transgender people. The campaign debuted online today and national ads will begin soon.
CDC officials are also piloting a new comprehensive online HIV Risk Reduction Tool, which lets people get customized information on behaviors that place them at risk for HIV and strategies to reduce their risk. The tool helps people determine how best to protect themselves and their partners.
The tool allows users to compare the risks of different sexual activities and to see how one or a combination of prevention methods – such as condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or HIV treatment for those living with HIV – could change their level of protection. Issued as a beta release, CDC anticipates continued revision and improvement of the tool over time, as the agency pilots the tool with users and incorporates feedback and new findings.
“Both of these efforts are designed to help people take control of their health, make informed choices, and reduce their risk for getting and transmitting HIV,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention said in a press release about the announcements. “With more effective prevention options than ever before, it is essential that we provide accurate information. Now people can choose the best strategies for protecting themselves and their partners from HIV. The HIV Risk Reduction Tool provides everyone – regardless of HIV status – a one-stop resource for information to guide their decisions about reducing risk.”
The risk reduction tool and new testing campaign are part of CDC’s ongoing efforts to promote the full range of high-impact HIV prevention strategies.