With National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) — an annual observance to promote HIV testing — set for June 27, myriad resources are being marshaled.
The National Association of People with AIDS (napwa.org) founded the event in 1995 and continues to take the lead in its observance.
It is a particularly important time, say advocates who this year are underscoring the point with the “Take Charge. Take the Test” social marketing campaign (hivtest.cdc.gov/takecharge/index.html) aimed at increasing HIV testing and awareness among African-American women.
The campaign is a part of Act Against AIDS’ five-year, multi-faceted focus on raising HIV awareness among all persons living in the United States and reducing the risk of infection among the hardest-hit populations (actagainstaids.org).
On July 13, 2010 the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the nation's first-ever comprehensive coordinated HIV/AIDS roadmap with clear and measurable targets to be achieved by 2015.
Today federal resources also abound, such as the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Provider Locator (aids.gov/locator), a first-of-its-kind, location-based search tool that allows you to search for testing services, housing providers, health centers and other service providers near one’s current location.
The federal site also spells out in question-and-answer form basic HIV facts. For example, the question is asked — “What Is HIV?” — and answers are provided in straightforward yet comprehensive form, such as, “To understand what HIV is, let’s break it down: H – Human. This particular virus can only infect human beings.
I – Immunodeficiency. HIV weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. A ‘deficient’ immune system can't protect you. V – Virus. A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host.”On June 26, aids.gov
also will host a webinar/conference call on “HIV Testing for an AIDS-Free Generation,” for federal staff, stakeholders and for grantees who work with domestic HIV/AIDS programs.
There’s also information regarding Aids Awareness Days throughout the year, at aids.gov/awareness-days
Among other awareness campaigns in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Act Against AIDS campaign (actagainstaids.org) also aims to combat complacency about the HIV/AIDS crisis.