June 27 is National HIV Testing Day

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Today, in honor of National HIV Testing Day, the healthcare community encourages you to get tested for HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. In the United States, 1 in 5 people living with HIV don't know they have it.

Even if you don’t feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important: early treatment can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Am I at risk for HIV?

HIV is spread through some of the body’s fluids, like blood, semen (cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is passed from one person to another by:

  • Having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person who has HIV
  • Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
  • Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
  • Getting a blood transfusion that has HIV (very rare in the U.S.)

HIV testing is covered for many people under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get tested at no cost to you. Talk to your insurance provider.

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