Kalispell Observes National HIV Testing Day

This Saturday, 27th June 2015, was the National HIV Testing Day and Flathead County heath officials urged everyone to increase their education and awareness about HIV.

Flathead County Health Department Educator Mandie Fleming recommends everyone to get tested at least once a year.

The spread of awareness and the more kids are educated about this disease, are the more ways it can be prevented.

Free or low cost testing is being offered by the county health center.

CDC estimates that 1,201,100 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 168,300 (14%) who are unaware of their infection1. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level—particularly among certain groups.
An estimated 13,712 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2012, and approximately 658,507 people in the United States with an AIDS diagnosis have died overall.

National HIV Testing Day was established as an annual observance to promote HIV testing. The theme is “Take the Test. Take Control.”

CDC states that protecting yourself and others against HIV starts with knowledge. Knowing the facts about HIV will help you make informed decisions about sex, drug use, and other activities that may put you and your partners at risk for HIV.

Learn the basics about HIV, how to prevent HIV transmission, and the steps you can take to protect yourself and others. Talk about what you learn with your friends and other people who are important to you, Empower even more people via social media, Share your new knowledge with your friends online.

“Having that discussion with your health care provider about your risks and how you can better prepare yourself is really important for each individual, so you can create a plan to help protect yourself,” Lemming said.

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