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Where to get tested on National HIV Testing Day

Johanna Acosta, of the Bronx, a Planned Parenthood

Johanna Acosta, of the Bronx, a Planned Parenthood health educator, explains how the instant HIV exams work. These tests take a swab of the cells in the cheek and gums to test for HIV. If the test comes back positive for reactants, it is still possible, however, that the patient does not have HIV, as other things can cause it to come back positive. Further testing is necessary. (Aug. 25, 2012) Photo Credit: Caylena Cahill

This Saturday is National HIV Testing Day, which raises awareness about the importance of getting tested and learning how to prevent transmission of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, but one in seven people who have HIV don't know it, meaning they're not getting the medical care they need and can potentially pass it to others.

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once, and those who have a higher risk get tested more often (these can include people with more than one sex partner, people with STDS, people who inject drugs, victims of sexual assault, those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and sexually active gay and bisexual men, according to the CDC).

Testing is available at many medical clinics, community health centers and hospitals, often for free. To find a testing site near you:

  • Visit Gettested.cdc.gov and enter your ZIP code
  • Text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948)
  • Call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)
  • Contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 347-396-4100
  • Visit greaterthan.org/walgreens to find free HIV testing this Thursday through Saturday at participating Walgreens
  • Visit a drugstore for the Home Access HIV-1 Test System or the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test home testing kits

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