June 25, 2012
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in collaboration with local testing sites, is offering free, oral HIV tests for New Hampshire residents on Wednesday, June 27th, National HIV Testing Day.
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the HIV epidemic, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most commonly spread through unprotected sex, sharing of needles with an HIV-infected person, or transmission from an infected mother to her baby.
Many strides have been made in the fight against HIV, particularly in the area of medical treatment. People can live for years with the proper medication so that HIV, which used to be a death sentence, can now be considered a chronic illness for those infected. However, to take advantage of these advances people need to know their HIV status first and early diagnosis of HIV is still a challenge.
“It is estimated that 1 in 5 people infected HIV in the United States don’t know it,” says Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “It is now recommended that everyone ages 13 to 64 be tested at least once as part of their routine health care.”
On Wednesday, June 27th multiple sites across New Hampshire will offer free HIV testing. There is no blood draw needed, and the results are available within 20 minutes. To locate a participating site go to www.dhhs.nh.gov or call the DHHS Infectious Disease Prevention, Investigation and Care Section at 603-271-4502. For more information about HIV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/Features/HIVtesting/.