The number of African-American women diagnosed with HIV declined by 21 percent three years ago, yet HIV remains a significant issue within the Black community. Today is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) and this year’s theme is “Take the Test. Take Control.”
One in 32 Black women will become HIV-positive during their lives, according to the CDC. Poverty and the greater likelihood of an absence of quality health care are among the reasons why African-American females are most susceptible to contracting the virus compared to women of other racial backgrounds. This means Black women are 20 times as likely as their White counterparts to get infected. The CDC’s campaign, Take Charge. Take the Test, educates African-American women about HIV and the importance of testing.
Medical professionals and clinics provide different forms of HIV tests, but there are now at-home products, such as OraQuick, that when used correctly can be 99–percent accurate. The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test relies on a swab of oral fluid to determine a person’s status and offers results in only 20 minutes, similarly to a pregnancy test. The test can be purchased at a variety of drugstores and has the added benefit of providing privacy and peace of mind.
Nearly 1-in-5 Americans remain unaware that they have HIV. Knowing your status will ensure the well-being of you and your partner and if necessary, you can seek treatment before it’s too late. For more information on where to get tested today, visits AIDs.gov.