National HIV Testing Day is an opportunity for Americans to increase their awareness of HIV/AIDS and get tested. More than one million Americans have HIV - and a quarter of them don't even know it.
Through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, HIV/AIDS patients can receive treatment, including life-saving drugs, which can help them live fuller and more productive lives. But treatment and care cannot reach people who do not know they are infected. Only by knowing your HIV status can you know to seek medical care.
Since 2001, the United States has dedicated more than $148 billion to the fight against HIV/AIDS. More than $20 billion has been devoted to domestic HIV/AIDS research and nearly $100 billion for treatment and care.
Around the world, nearly 6,000 people die from HIV/AIDS every day. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), America is leading the world's response to HIV/AIDS abroad. PEPFAR is spreading hope and saving lives in more than 100 countries. It has supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for approximately 1.73 million men, women and children.
Americans can be proud of the compassionate work our country is doing. And each of us should take the simple steps to learn more about HIV/AIDS. Make voluntary HIV screening a part of your regular health exam. Ask your doctor at your next visit, "Have I been tested for HIV?" If not, request a test. Together, we can turn the tide against this disease.
To find a testing site near you, please visit www.hivtest.org.