Posted by: richarlm | June 27, 2019

National HIV Testing Day, June 27

HIV is an abbreviation for “human immunodeficiency virus”, which damages your immune system by destroying the white blood cells.  This puts you at higher risk for infections and even certain types of cancers.  Many people associate HIV with AIDS (“acquired immunodeficiency syndrome”), which is the final stage of HIV; however, not everyone who is HIV-positive develops AIDS.  HIV is most commonly acquired through unprotected sex, but also can be spread in other ways. 

Many HIV-positive people don’t know they have the virus.  Since life expectancy without treatment ranges from 9 to 11 years, it is important to be tested, even if you think you are not infected.  There is no cure for HIV, but there are medicines to help treat the symptoms and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.

The best ways to lower your risk of getting HIV include:

  • Not having sex
  • Avoiding unprotected sex
  • Using a condom correctly every time you have sex
  • Limiting your number of sexual partners
  • Never sharing needles

Tests can be done through your doctor’s office or even through an at-home test kit. You also can ask about free testing sites near you by calling the national referral hotline.

1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636 in English and en español)

1-888-232-6348 – TTY

Learn more about HIV with these resources:

Written by Michele Clark, PhD, MLS

You may also like:
A Tent, a Parking Lot and a Group of Devoted People Trying to Save Lives with Dr. David Schaffer, Your Health Radio, May 30, 2019

Health Technology and Curbing the Spread of HIV, with Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman, Your Health Radio, June 10, 2017

The Cutting Edge of HIV Research, with Dr. Victor Garcia and Dr. Jenna Honeycutt, Your Health Radio, June 11, 2016


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