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Get Tested for HIV This New Year

Finding out early can help you live a longer, healthier life. It's easy. It's free, fast, and confidential.

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: January 12, 2014


Get Tested for HIV This New Year


It's that time of year again! A time when millions of Americans start looking back at the past, and more importantly, looking forward to the coming year and setting New Year's resolutions. While many New Year's resolutions, such as losing weight, saving money, managing stress, are popular year after year, this upcoming year encourage your readers to include one additional resolution on that list: esolve to get tested for HIV

Many Americans do not realize that HIV is still a major epidemic in our country and that it has an impact on the lives of all Americans, including Hispanics/Latinos. More than a million people are living with HIV in the United States, and almost 1 in 6 are unaware of their infection (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/statistics_basics_factsheet.pdf) and at risk of passing the virus on to others without knowing it. Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV accounting for 21% of new HIV infections in the United States while representing approximately 16 percent of the total U.S. population.

The only way to know if a person has HIV is to get an HIV test, and it's easy, free, fast, and confidential! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Testing once a year (or more) is recommended for people at higher risk of HIV infection, such as those who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users, or people with multiple sex partners.

Here are three good reasons for your readers to get an HIV test and a tool they can use to find an HIV test site near their area http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/campaigns/lsht/gettested.html:
1.Finding out early can help you live a longer, healthier life.
2.If you know, you can look out for yourself ‘«Ű and the people you love.
3.It's easy. It's free, fast, and confidential.

In addition to encouraging your readers to get tested for HIV this New Year, please share the additional information and resources below about Let's Stop HIV Together, a national communication campaign designed to raise awareness and fight stigma about HIV and its impact on the lives of all Americans. We must re-double our efforts to assure that all people know about HIV, how to prevent transmission, their HIV status, and that people with HIV are linked to care, treatment, and prevention services. We can stop HIV Together--by getting the facts, getting tested, and getting involved.

Let's Stop HIV Together Web and Social Properties:

‘«ůLet's Stop HIV Together on the Web: http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/together/index.html
‘«ůAct Against AIDS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ActAgainstAIDS
‘«ůLet's Stop HIV Together participant video stories: http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/resources/together/videos.html
‘«ů"Get Tested" Web page: http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/together/gettested.html

Sample Let's Stop HIV Together stories:

‘«ů Maria, En esta historia, Mar?°a habla sobre c??mo se infect?? con el VIH y c??mo, con el apoyo de su pareja Lisa, est?Ū educando a otros: http://www.youtube.com/embed/45rvH6d1_JI

‘«ů Justin, a young Latino, got tested for HIV after receiving an automated message from a Partner Notification Center in May 2006 that indicated someone he had come in contact with had been recently diagnosed with HIV. He was diagnosed on May 20, 2006. Since then, Justin has dedicated his life to educating young people about HIV/AIDS and other harmful STIs and promoting HIV testing. In this digital video story, Justin discusses the stream of emotions he felt when he received his HIV diagnosis and how important it is for the disproportionately affected Latino community to have conversations about HIV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig-g4FNTrP4

‘«ů Greg Louganis, Olympic Diver (and four-time gold medalist), was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. Greg is often remembered for the shocking moment in 1988 (just after his HIV diagnosis) when he struck his head on the springboard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRjBWyrDgEU

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