Get tested for HIV

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2007

In 2005, more than 400,000 were living in the United States with HIV/AIDS, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are 40,000 new cases of HIV disease per year in this country, and one out of two of those new infections occur in people under age 25. As of December 2006, 14,710 Alabama residents had been diagnosed with HIV.

Of course, that’s just those who have been diagnosed.

Email newsletter signup

Approximately 25 percent of the more than 1 million people infected with HIV in the United States are unaware of their infection.

The Black Belt region recognized Wednesday as National HIV Testing Day, and several locations served as free HIV testing sites.

Selma AIR representatives also will continue using the airwaves through Friday on 105.3 FM, sponsoring public service announcements.

National HIV Testing Day serves to increase the awareness of HIV and AIDS and encourage individuals to take advantage of free and voluntary HIV counseling and testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine HIV testing in all health-care settings. Persons at high risk for HIV infection should be screened for HIV at least annually.

Reasons a person should be tested for HIV include the following:

Partner’s HIV status is not known.

Had unprotected sex.

Injecting drugs or sharing needles.

More than one sex partner.

Had or have a sexually transmitted disease.

Pregnant women in first and third trimester.

Take control of your health by knowing your status. Call the Dallas County Health Department to find out more about testing.