In observance of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), on Monday, June 27, 2016, several elected officials will take confidential HIV tests and encourage the public to join them in taking the test.  

The purpose of NHTD is to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and promote HIV testing.  According to the CDC, 1 in 8 people living with HIV in the United States is unaware that they have the disease.

According to the CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) data published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,1 ‘in 2012, 9% of persons who inject drugs tested positive for HIV, and among those persons, 36% were unaware of their infection before testing.2 


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In 2013, 2% of heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection tested positive for HIV, and among those, 44% were unaware of their infection before testing.3 In 2014, among 22% of men who have sex with men who tested positive for HIV, 25% were unaware of their infection before testing.” 4

However, NHTD is helping to turn the tide of people who do not know their status. 

Another report in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by Shirley Lee Lecher, MD, and colleagues noted “National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) effectively targets groups disproportionately affected by HIV. During 2011–2014, there was a significant increase in total testing events as well as newly identified HIV-positive persons in June compared with other months, with a peak in new HIV diagnoses on NHTD. This increase was seen across gender groups, persons aged ≥20 years, and all major racial/ethnic groups. A higher number of testing events and newly identified positive HIV diagnoses occurred among MSM, irrespective of race/ethnicity, and among transgender persons in June compared with the mean during all other months.”5

References

1. CDC. National HIV Testing Day — June 27, 2016. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:613.

2. CDC. HIV infection, risk, prevention, and testing behaviors among persons who inject drugs. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2015.http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-HSSR_NHBS_PWID_2012.pd

3. CDC. HIV infection, risk, prevention, and testing behaviors among heterosexuals at increased risk of HIV infection. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2013.http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-hssr_nhbs_het_2013.pdf

4. CDC. HIV infection risk, prevention, and testing behaviors among men who have sex with men. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. 2014.http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-hssr-nhbs-msm-2014.pdf

5.Lecher SL, Hollis N, Lehmann C, et al. Evaluation of the Impact of National HIV Testing Day — United States, 2011–2014. MMWR. 2016; 65(24);613–618.