About 50,000 people in the U.S. get HIV each year. Of the 1.1 million people currently living with HIV in the U.S., 1 in 8 don’t even know they have it. December 1 is World AIDS Day and the 2015 theme is “The Time to Act Is Now.”
HIV is the virus that can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. Early testing and diagnosis play key roles in reducing the spread of the disease, extending life expectancy, and cutting costs of care. At least 1 in 3 people in the U.S. who test positive for HIV is tested too late to get the full advantage of treatment. However, thanks to better treatments, many people with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. are living longer. Testing is an important first step in getting HIV-infected people the medical care and support they need to improve their health and help them maintain safer behaviors.
Medicare covers HIV screening for people with Medicare of any age who ask for the test, pregnant women, and people at increased risk for the infection (like gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, or people with multiple sexual partners).
Visit Aids.gov to learn more about World AIDS Day and CDC.gov to learn more about their Act Against AIDS campaign. To find an HIV test site, visit HIVtest.cdc.gov or text your zip code to “KNOWIT” (566948).