Every year organizations and nonprofits around the US observe June 27th as National HIV Testing Day. A day to get facts, get tested, and get involved!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV. Nearly 45,000 people find out they have HIV every year. We believe that HIV testing is a form of prevention and a great link to care, and encourage EVERYONE to get tested.
Last year at Callen-Lorde we performed over 8,200 rapid tests. Over half of them were performed by our Prevention and Outreach Providers (POP)s, who are available for walk-in testing hours Monday to Thursday 8:30 in the morning to 7:30 in the afternoon, Fridays from 10 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon and Saturday from 8:30 in the morning to 12:30 in the afternoon. No appointment needed!
What is a rapid HIV test?
Because testing technology has improved so much in the last ten years, we are now able to do an HIV test that can give us your results in about 20 minutes. In this case, a provider would prick your finger with a small needle and take a few drops of your blood.
What if I’m scared of needles or looking at blood?
No worries! If you feel anxious about blood or needles, you can take an oral rapid test. That’s an HIV rapid test that uses a cotton swab to collect fluids from your mouth and gums. No blood needed.
For people who have tested negative, there are more prevention tools now than ever before too. Not just condoms but tools like PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). PrEP is a pill you take daily to prevent yourself from becoming HIV positive. Stop by and talk to our POP’s to see if PrEP is right for you!
For people who have tested positive there are now more medication options than ever before. Taking HIV medications and becoming undetectable makes it possible to have a healthy, long life. Becoming HIV undetectable means the HIV in your blood is not detectable in other words your viral load (the amount of HIV in the blood) is so low that modern HIV tests cannot read it. Having an undetectable viral load also makes it very hard to pass HIV to someone else.
Take action, it starts with you #beHIVsure and get tested today.