Monday was National HIV Testing Day and last week there was an article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report about the results of an expanded HIV Testing Initiative last year.
Approximately 20% of the estimated 1.2 million persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the United States at the end of 2008 were not aware of their infection
The report describes the results of nearly 2.8 million HIV tests from October 2007 until September 2010. Nearly 30,000 people tested positive. There are approximately 56,000 new HIV infections each year in the United States and efforts like the expanded HIV Testing Initiative can be key to help people know if they are infected and made changes to limit the spread of infection.
Along with other organizations around the country, CHC actively participated in National HIV Testing Day activities this week. We provided 69 rapid HIV tests; several came as a result of referrals from partners or family members. Two people tested positive. Beyond this, we distributed over 2,500 condoms and over 2,000 brochures, pamphlets and other educational material.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health HIV Surveillance Program listed 352 diagnosed cases of AIDS/HIV in Connecticut in 2009. Through events like the National HIV Testing Day, people can learn more about HIV, whether they are infected, whether they are at risk, and what they can do to help stop the spread of infection, here in Connecticut and across the country.