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Draft Guidelines by Task Force Could Possibly End the Stigma of HIV Testing in America

The latest HIV testing recommendations issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force may possibly change the AIDS epidemic in this country for good.

With news of the latest HIV testing recommendations issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force comes the hope that these draft guidelines could potentially change the AIDS epidemic in this country for good. The task force is simply calling for HIV testing to be part of everyone’s (between the ages of 15 and 65) routine check-up regardless of their risk, especially pregnant women. Previous recommendations by the group called for testing only those Americans at high risk for exposure to HIV. By making HIV testing as common as getting one’s blood pressure checked, it will make it possible to test many more people.  Testing will identify those in need of treatment– no longer making it a disease of “other people.”

Health care professionals (doctors, nurses, and pharmacists) at the New Jersey AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline are here to help all NJ residents with any questions or concerns they may have regarding any sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDs and hepatitis. Call 800-624-2377 if you need to find FREE state-funded testing sites near you or if you have any questions or concerns regarding HIV testing. Remember Help is Just a Phone Call Away!

The new task force guidelines are expected to curb the spread of HIV and thereby improve the health and well being of Americans. By reducing the stigma of HIV testing, health care providers will be able to identify people living with HIV in US that don’t know they are HIV positive – putting not only their own health at risk but also the health of their loved ones and partners by spreading the virus. About 1 in 5 Americans are HIV infected and unaware of their status.  Advancements in medical treatment of HIV have become better and easier over the years, thereby causing many to become no longer concerned with HIV. Many of us continue to underestimate our own risk of contracting  to the disease which in turn leads to more than 50,000 new cases of HIV infections each year – meaning about one new person gets infected every 9 ½ minutes in this country.

Know Your HIV Status, Get Out and Get Tested

Recent studies show the benefits of early HIV testing and treatment in preventing the further spread of the virus and saving lives. Some don’t get tested because they may not have the money to pay for testing.  At least 1 in 3 Americans who test positive for HIV is tested too late to get the full advantage of treatment.  Recent developments have made it possible for people to choose the way they would like to get tested, either by blood test, rapid test, or an at home test.  Free state-funded testing sites are located throughout the state; call 800-624-2377 to find one near you.

We  along with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the US Preventive Services Task Force recommend everyone (adults and adolescents) get tested for HIV and continue to get tested routinely; people at an increased risk get an HIV test at least every year; and women get an HIV test each time they are pregnant. Getting people tested, diagnosed, and linked to medical care are important steps in reducing new infection and the spread of HIV.

If you need more information regarding testing, HIV transmission or have general questions concerning HIV/AIDS, STDs, or Hepatitis, call the health care professionals at the New Jersey AIDS/HIV/STD hotline, 800-624-2377. The following services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

  • Referrals for testing sites and other related services
  • HIV/AIDS, STD and Hepatitis Prevention Information
  • Counseling and Treatment Locations
  • Treatment Information

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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