National HIV Testing Day: What you need to know

Ryan Jaslow, CBS News | June 27, 2011

(CBS) Today is National HIV Testing Day. The annual event is co-sponsored by the National Association of People with AIDS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to spread awareness and let people know how and when to get an HIV test.

And government officials in high places are also rallying people for today’s events.

“National HIV Testing Day reminds each of us to do our part in fighting HIV/AIDS and get tested,” President Obama said in a White House statement. His administration released a National HIV/AIDS Strategy last July, with the goals of reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care, and reducing HIV-related health disparities.

“One in five Americans living with HIV is not aware of their infection and this research highlights the imperative of making sure people know their HIV status and getting those who do have HIV into care,” the President said.

Their lack of awareness contributes to the fact that 40 percent of people with HIV aren’t diagnosed until they have developed AIDS, which can be up to 10 years after they were infected.  (Read more)