4 posts tagged “National HIV Testing Day”

30 Years of AIDS

Posted June 1st, 2011 by

The Federal Government and 30 Years of AIDS

On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) described the first reported cases of AIDS in the US.  Thirty years later, AIDS.gov is observing this date with a campaign called “The Federal Government and 30 Years of AIDS.”

What have we learned about Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the last three decades? And how well are we doing as a country with HIV/AIDS education, screening, treatment and research?  Hear answers from the country’s top experts during a live webcast today, June 1, at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Sponsored by AIDS.gov (who has a guest profile at PatientsLikeMe) and the White House, this live video chat features Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy Jeffrey Crowley, and Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Dr. Carl Dieffenbach. To join in, submit questions in advance, watch live at WhiteHouse.gov/live and submit live questions during the discussion on Facebook.

Here at PatientsLikeMe, we have 2,948 members who report living with HIV. Beyond what they share on their individual patient profiles about their symptoms, treatments and quality of life, they also offer their perspectives in our forum, where common topics include the psychological aspects of being HIV+ and how to approach dating post-diagnosis. What can you learn from other patients? One example is what to expect. More than 290 of our members have been diagnosed with HIV for 20 years or more, showing that living with HIV long-term is now possible.

Check out the video below featuring a member who’s lived with HIV for 25+ years.  Now with more than 35,000+ views on YouTube, this candid interview reveals how HIV awareness has evolved and how helpful it is for long-term survivors to be able to connect with others like them.

Finally, there’s a key takeaway from “30 Years of AIDS” that impacts us all: the importance of getting tested now that HIV tests (some with results in as short as 20 minutes) are readily available. According to the Centers for Disease Control, of the estimated one million people living with HIV in the US, one in five (21%) are unaware of their infection. Have you been tested recently? If not, June 27, 2011, is National HIV Testing Day. Use this handy locator to find a screening facility near you.

If you’re older than 30, AIDS came about in your lifetime. If you’re younger than 30, you’ve only known a world with AIDS. What has that meant for you – and for your generation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

It’s National HIV Testing Day

Posted June 27th, 2009 by

Today – June 27, 2009 – is National HIV Testing Day.

AIDS.gov, the one-stop access to U.S. Government HIV/AIDS information and an organization PatientsLikeMe collaborates with to raise awareness of HIV, has been running a campaign all month to promote National HIV Testing Day.  As part of the campaign, AIDS.gov launched the “I Know. I Took the Test” blog series, featuring videos and stories of people talking about what taking an HIV test means to them. The series highlights several HIV testing story campaigns from organizations such as the National Association of People Living with AIDS Exit Disclaimer, POZ Exit Disclaimer, Southern AIDS Living Quilt Exit Disclaimer, The Positive Project Exit Disclaimer, and others.

In support of this campaign, PatientsLikeMe recently invited members of our HIV community to tell us in a few sentences about their experience and/or thoughts about HIV testing.  Here’s what they had to say:

“I think it is probably the single most important thing a person can do for him/herself. The test will show if a person is infected, important knowledge no matter how it turns out.”

“Getting tested for HIV is so important. The knowledge of knowing can make a difference as to how you will live your journey in life.”

“Being tested for me caused me to change my outlook on sex, changed my life in such a way that gives me a opportunity to speak on the importance of being tested , and to share information about treatment, and that there is a life after testing takes place.  If we ever what to see an end to this very serious problem across the world we must continue to speak and encourage testing  in all walks of life.  Moot for me I think not, important to get the word out yes,yes, yes.   Experience is the best teacher.”

“I agree that experience is our best teacher. If you haven’t experienced things how could you give advice?”

“Knowledge is power, knowing your HIV status truly allows you to start living a healthier life, whether you’re are positive or negative.”

Want to know more about how to spread the word on HIV testing? Check out the latest promotions at AIDS.gov and, as always, feel free to share your own experiences there and with PatientsLikeMe.