Did you know that every year 50,000 people are diagnosed with HIV? Of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 1 in every 6 doesn’t even know they have it. December 1st 2014 is World AIDS day and the theme is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”
HIV is the virus that can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. Early testing and diagnosis play key roles in reducing the spread of the disease, extending life expectancy, and cutting costs of care. At least 1 in 3 people in the U.S. who test positive for HIV is tested too late to get the full advantage of treatment. Testing is also an important first step in getting HIV-infected people the medical care and support they need to improve their health and help them maintain safer behaviors.
What can you do to help achieve an AIDS-free generation? Medicare covers HIV screening for people with Medicare of any age who ask for the test, pregnant women, and people at increased risk for the infection (like gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, or people with multiple sexual partners).
To find an HIV test site, visit HIVtest.cdc.gov or text your zip code to “KNOWIT” (566948).