HIV infections continue to soar

National HIV Testing Day was June 27, and OSDH encourages everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested at least once in their life as part of their routine health care.

People with certain risk factors (including homosexuals and drug addicts) should get tested more often.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV. Due to effective treatments, people are living long and healthy lives with HIV. The OSDH states it is important to start treatment as soon as a person finds out they are HIV-positive. Since 1982, Oklahoma has had more than 10,000 HIV/AIDS cases and there are currently about 6,000 people living with HIV throughout the state.

The CDC estimates there are 50,000 new cases of HIV each year in the United States. Almost one in seven people are unaware of their HIV status. For young people between the ages of 13-24 living with HIV, more than half are unaware of their status. Getting tested is the only way to know.

County health departments provide testing services Monday-Friday. Other testing sites can be found at www.locator.aids.gov. There are also community-based organizations throughout the state which offer rapid HIV testing able to give results in about 20 minutes.