A statement by Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH
Today, as we recognize National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), it is important to note that nearly 1 in 6 Americans who have HIV do not know they are infected. If you are between the ages of 13-64, or are pregnant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you be tested for HIV at least once as a part of routine healthcare, and more often if you are at high risk for infection.
Testing is particularly important if you are part of a population that is heavily affected by HIV. These populations include African Americans, Latinos, and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races – particularly young African American MSM (ages 13-24), who have higher rates of new HIV infection than any other race/ethnicity or gender.
Fortunately, getting an HIV test has become easier thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires most new health insurance plans to cover certain preventive services –including HIV testing – without additional costs (e.g., co-pays or deductibles) to you.
If you aren’t sure where to get an HIV test, visit AIDS.gov’s HIV Testing Site & Care Services Locator to find a convenient testing location. You can also visit the NHTD website to find information on more than 400 NHTD testing events taking place across the nation.
You can benefit from testing no matter what the results are, because knowing your HIV status puts you in charge of your health.
For more information about NHTD, or to find an HIV testing location near you, please visit AIDS.gov. You can also follow the conversation on social media with #NHTD. For resources on HIV prevention, please visit Act Against AIDS. For more information on the ACA, please visit healthcare.gov.