National HIV Testing Day is Thursday, June 27th this year. It was launched in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS in response to the growing number of HIV infections in communities of color and other heavily impacted communities.
Too many people don't know they have HIV. In the United States, nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in five don't know they are infected. Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.
Who should be tested?: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), recommends that individuals aged 13-64 get tested at least once in their lifetimes and those with risk factors get tested more frequently. A general rule for those with risk factors is to get tested at least annually. Additionally, CDC has recently reported that men who have sex with men may benefit from getting an HIV test more often, perhaps every 3-6 months.
Where can you be tested? Most outpatient clinics, hospitals, and health departments can offer testing upon request.
Deschutes County Health offers two types of confidential and/or anonymous tests:
Rapid test (finger stick)-Find out your result confidentially within 20 minutes=$20
Conventional blood test-Find out your result confidentially within several days=$7
To schedule an appointment for an HIV test at Deschutes County Health, call (541) 322-7400.
To learn more about HIV, including information about risks, please visit www.cdc.gov/hiv . You may also call a Deschutes County Health Educator at (541) 322-7425 with your questions. Your call and all testing results are confidential. To find local and national HIV testing sites, visit www.hivtest.org.