Ed. note: This blog was originally published on https://www.hiv.gov/blog/hrsa-encourages-people-get-tested-national-hiv-testing-day
Today on National HIV Testing Day, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) emphasizes the importance of getting tested for HIV, knowing your HIV status, and connecting to HIV care and treatment if you test positive. This year’s federal theme, “Doing It My Way,” sheds light on how taking an HIV test can be an empowering experience while also recognizing that you can do it in your own way. Whichever way you do it, this National HIV Testing Day, HRSA encourages those at risk to get tested for HIV.
Approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. have HIV, but one in seven people with HIV are unaware they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds programs and providers who play a critical role in finding, testing, and providing primary HIV medical care and treatment for low-income people with HIV who are uninsured and underserved.
Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America
This Testing Day we recognize that at this moment there is an unprecedented opportunity in America to end the HIV epidemic. Earlier this year, the Administration proposed the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” initiative, a 10-year plan beginning in FY 2020 to achieve the goal of reducing new HIV infections to less than 3,000 per year by 2030. Through HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the HRSA-funded Health Center Program, the agency will play a leading role in helping diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond to end the HIV epidemic.
Today HRSA announced the award of approximately $1 million in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants to 10 metropolitan areas to provide technical assistance activities to enhance efforts to end the HIV epidemic in Part A jurisdictions. Under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A, 52 metropolitan areas provide core medical and support services to people with HIV. The funding awarded today under the Building Capacity for HIV Elimination in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A Jurisdiction project will provide technical assistance to strengthen efforts to end the HIV epidemic through improvements along the HIV care continuum.
The Importance of Testing and Treatment
People with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed, and get and keep an undetectable viral load, have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to their HIV-negative partner. This finding highlights the importance of getting people with HIV tested, linked to HIV care and treatment, and helping them stay in care and on their medication.
HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds grants to cities/counties, states, and local community-based organizations to provide a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential support services to low-income people with HIV. More than half of people with diagnosed HIV in the U.S. – more than 500,000 people – receive care through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program each year. In 2017, 85.9% of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients were virally suppressed, exceeding the viral suppression national average of 60%.
Find Care and Get Tested
So once again, on this National HIV Testing Day, HRSA encourages those at risk to get tested for HIV. If your test is positive, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Health Center Program can help you get the care and treatment you need and find a health care provider. For more information about HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, visit www.hab.hrsa.gov. For more information about the HRSA’s Health Center Program, visit www.bphc.hrsa.gov.