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HIV: Get Tested Today

national hiv testing day june 27 everyone has a status do you know yours?
Nearly 40,000 people received a positive HIV diagnosis in 2016. One contributing reason is that more than 15 percent of those living with the virus don't know they have it and are more likely to pass it on. If you don't know, get tested.

 

Jonathan Antel, a health trainer for LGBTQ people living in the Kansas City Metro region,  works for the Kansas CARE health center. Founded in 1971 as a neighborhood free clinic, it has been a Ryan White HIV/AIDS program grantee for more than two decades, as well as a certified, full-service health center. He discussed HIV risk factors and trends in a webcastWhile HIV continues to disproportionately impact men who have sex with men, the disease has been trending younger -- ages 20-29 -- and more densely in the southeastern United States (particularly Maryland, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana). Heterosexual contact and IV drug use are responsible for almost one in four cases nationwide, the CDC reports. In each of these instances, routine screening is indicated, said Jonathan Antel in a recent webcast. Antel works as a health trainer for LGBTQ clients in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ninety percent of HIV testing, he added, occurs in 25 percent of U.S. counties -- but remains stigmatized across broad swaths of the country. Patients should be asked their full sexual histories in primary care, for example, and be offered PrEP medication to prevent infection among those at risk, Antel said.

"None of these (findings) are new," he added, "but they may be new to you, and they're relatively new to most people" he speaks to about it. "First, remember that prevention is treatment," as those who test positive and remain faithful to their treatment regimen not only protect themselves but also are far less likely to infect others. Based on observations in Africa, Europe and the U.S., the CDC has judged the risk to be "negligible," Antel observed.

Among the success stories in the recent history of HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS program is that more than 8 out of 10 patients are now retained in care, spurring higher adherence to viral suppression medications and declines in patient viral loads.

Latest CDC Recommendations

  • HIV screening is recommended for all patients 13-64 in all health care settings, unless the patient declines;
  • HIV testing is recommended for all women as part of routine prenatal care. In parts of the country where HIV is more common, the CDC recommends a second test during the third trimester of pregnancy;
  • Persons at high risk for HIV infection should be screened for HIV at least annually;
  • Separate written consent for HIV testing should not be required; general consent for medical care should be considered sufficient to encompass consent for HIV testing; and
  • Prevention counseling should not be required with HIV diagnostic testing or as part of HIV screening programs in health care settings.

The HRSA Office of Regional Operations (ORO) Region 7 is based in Kansas City, Missouri and serves Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Listen to the webcast hrsa exit disclaimer.

Find a Ryan White provider.

Learn more: CDC HIV in the U.S. At A Glance.

Date Last Reviewed:  June 2018