Healthcare Advisory: National HIV Testing Day
June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day, which helps promote testing and early diagnosis of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. There are 5,760 individuals living with HIV disease in Orange County with over 250 people being diagnosed with HIV each year. There are an additional estimated 938 people living in Orange County who have HIV and don’t know it – many of whom will develop AIDS before realizing they are HIV infected.
Of the 115 newly diagnosed with AIDS in 2014, 46.9% (54) were concurrently diagnosed with AIDS, indicating that the individual was living with HIV for many years before the diagnosis. Many of these people had been to a medical setting like an emergency room, a community health center, or their doctor, but were not tested for HIV. Because so many individuals are estimated to have HIV and are unaware of it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every adult between 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime and those at high risk of infection be tested at least annually as part of routine care. Making HIV testing a routine part of medical care will help people learn their HIV status before they get sick make it possible for them to seek treatment for HIV so that they don’t become sick. An additional benefit to early detection of HIV is that people who know their HIV statusare more likely to take steps to prevent spreading HIV to others. If you have never been tested for HIV, ask your medical provider for an HIV test. In addition to medical providers throughout Orange County, the following agencies offer year-round confidential and anonymous free or low-cost testing in Orange County: Continue reading