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Community Strength Project

Who Should Get Tested

Rapid Testing

MIHS image 0 Who Should Get TestedA handsome and precocious 4-year old boy named Isaac is fighting the good fight every day of his life. Isaac has AIDS. Infected through Mother-to-Child Transmission, meaning the virus was transmitted to Isaac from his mother during pregnancy or delivery, Isaac is living everyday with an illness that didn't have to happen. Why? Because at the time of Isaac's birth, no one knew his mother was HIV-positive due to the fact that no one, not her physicians nor the hospital, tested her for HIV. For more information, click here
Just the Facts
Click here to get all of the facts and statistics regarding HIV / AIDS.


Are You Eligible to Get Tested?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends that all people between the ages of 13 and 65 be tested for HIV on an annual basis. Some community testing sites require that you be "high risk" in order to receive HIV counseling and testing services. If you are turned away from testing due to your "risk" level, remember that you may request a test from your healthcare provider. You may also call other testing sites to see if they will test you.
 

Older adults have similar HIV risks to younger adults, and the CDC estimates that half of those living with HIV in the U.S. are age 50 or older. One in every 6 new HIV infections is in someone over the age of 50. Yet, many healthcare providers don't discuss sexual health issues with their older patients. The way we all think about sexual health changes as we age. Providers may miss their opportunity to talk about sexuality, HIV, and STI's, while some older adults may not even know they're still at risk.


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) The theme is “I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS!” The focus of this day is to educate Blacks about the basics of HIV/AIDS in their own community. Testing is key to this day and necessary to prevent HIV in Black communities. It is hoped that Blacks will mark February 7 of every year as their day to get tested for HIV. This is very important for those who are sexually active and at high risk of acquiring HIV.
 
Compared to other racial or ethnic groups in the U.S., blacks have a heavy burden of HIV and AIDS. While blacks represent about 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 44% of new HIV diagnoses. Blacks also account for 41% of all people living with HIV, more than any other racial or ethnic group. Among all blacks, black gay and bisexual men account for the majority of new infections. Young black gay and bisexual men are especially affected.
 
From 2005 to 2014, new HIV diagnoses fell by 42% among black women. Though new diagnoses among black gay and bisexual men rose by 22% over the last era, they have increased only slightly since 2010. This suggests that HIV prevention efforts are having an effect and need to continue.MIHS image 1 Who Should Get Tested

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This annual observance sheds light on how HIV affects women and girls. Every year, on March 10, groups show support for women and girls impacted by HIV. 

About one in four people living with HIV in the U.S. is female. About half get care.  Only four in 10 have the virus under control. Women face unique challenges that can prevent them from getting HIV care.  Addressing these issues remains critical to reach an AIDS-free generation. 

The theme is "The Best Defense Is a Good Offense." If you're actively dating or in a committed relationship, take these simple steps to help prevent HIV:

To learn more about HIV and women and girls visit:


HIV And Aging  Awareness Day September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness day. This yearly awareness day is focused on the problems people over 50 face about HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment.  

Worldwide, an estimated 3.6 million people aged 50 and older are living with HIV. About 1 in 4 adults in the United States who are living with HIV are over 50, and 18% of new HIV diagnoses appear in this same age group. Many older adults are sexually active and some are also drug users. These behaviors can put them at risk for HIV infection. 
 
HIV positive individuals are living much longer. However, other health problems are more concerning to doctors than HIV treatment. The AIDS Institute is taking the lead to end HIV/AIDS stigma, discrimination and misinformation for those over 50. HIV & Aging
 

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National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on September 27. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are greatly affected by HIV/AIDS. MSM are more likely than others to become infected with HIV.  Young MSM of color are no diagnosed with more new infections than anyone else. 

Why are MSM still at high risk? Stigma, discrimination, and homophobia can make it hard to be open with partners, family, and friends. Many people don't feel comfortable getting tested. Some men don't know their HIV status. They might think they're negative when they're not. Also, using alcohol and other drugs may lead people into situations they're not used to.  They might have sex that's riskier than usual.

So, what can you do to reduce your risks?
Get tested
If you're HIV negative, talk to your provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) - a new HIV prevention method that involves taking a pill
If you're living with HIV, start and stick with treatment
Choose less risky sexual behaviors
Use both condoms and lubricant correctly
Use less alcohol and drugs, especially before sex
To find an HIV testing site near you, visit: Get Tested. To learn more about PrEP, visit : What is PrEP 

 
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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. Organized by the Latino Commission on AIDS, this year’s theme is You and I Will Defeat AIDS (Tu y Yo Vamos a Derrotar al SIDA), and is a call to action to end the spread of HIV.

The good news is that Hispanics/Latinos are linked to care more often than other people living with HIV. The bad news is that Hispanics/Latinos are more likely not to receive treatment for HIV. Getting and staying on treatment is the best way for people to stay healthy and reduce their risk of spreading the virus to others.

Take steps to protect yourself and those you care about: choose not to have sex; use condoms every time; and reduce the number of people with whom you have sex. Get tested and talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to HIV, and encourage your partner to get and stay on treatment. HIV & Latino

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