National HIV Testing Day
National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is an annual campaign produced by the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA-US) to encourage at-risk individuals to receive voluntary HIV counseling and testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 180,000 to 280,000 people nationwide are HIV-positive but are unaware of their status. HIV counseling and testing enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners, and helps people who test negative get the information they need to stay uninfected.
Across the country, thousands of HIV counseling and testing sites, state and local health departments, and community-based HIV/AIDS service providers will participate in NHTD events, by holding health fairs, providing community and media outreach, hosting special testing-related events or operating extended hours. Some of these events may be scheduled in the days and weeks surrounding NHTD. Campaign materials including posters, for use by these groups have been developed by NAPWA and are available for order or to download.
NHTD organizers will also reach out to communities at increased risk of HIV infection, including African American and Latino populations, both of which are disproportionately affected with HIV when compared to other demographic groups in the United States. The campaign also highlights this Web site, which allows users to locate HIV testing sites in their area.
Founded in 1983, the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) is the oldest national AIDS organization, as well as the first network of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world. NAPWA believes in making a difference in the lives of its constituents by providing information and resources; telling our collective stories in HIV from the past, present, and future; and being the trusted independent voice of people living with HIV. NAPWA is intimately aware that early diagnosis makes a world of difference in an HIV-positive person’s quality of life. During National HIV Testing Day, NAPWA works with communities to reduce AIDS social stigma through public messages and culturally-appropriate education materials.
Support of some NHTD activities is provided by federal and corporate sponsors.
Media that wish to obtain more information on NHTD should contact Takirra Winfield, Director of Media Affairs at NAPWA, 240-247-1025, Email: TWinfield@napwa.org.