June 28, 2016 | It was exciting to see patients and staff getting involved and getting tested for National HIV Testing Day for the past couple days. June 27 was National HIV Testing Day in the United States. After campaigns like National HIV Testing Day, questions emerge on whether the campaigns work and if the investment of a Testing Day has impact.
Well, we are in luck, a study was done and the community response to National HIV Testing Day was positive. Questions came forward after nearly two decades of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) seeking a firm answers as to whether NHTD’s promotion of HIV Testing and Awareness increased numbers.
The study lead by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluated the impact of NHTD and found that HIV testing campaigns were very useful for promoting HIV testing among large groups. NHTD had a substantial impact on individuals determining their HIV status and sometimes their diagnosis of new HIV infections.
Now get this, after two decades of campaigns for NHTD it’s very important that we know that these efforts have resulted in the awareness of the disease in our communities and the discovery of new HIV diagnoses.
An HIV diagnosis is just the start of a new lifestyle for members of our communities across the nation. Testing positive can leave you feeling overwhelmed and scared. The important thing to note is that HIV is a manageable disease and can be treated with HIV medicines. Note that HIV medicines cannot cure HIV, but they help people with HIV live longer and healthier lives.
Northwest Health and the St. Joseph Health Department are proud to offer HIV resources to our communities and we are convinced that our events impact lives. It’s great to see the significant increase in total testing events each year as well as the newly identified HIV-positive persons.
Testing is so important and is the first step in a process for providing treatment and disturbing the transmission of the disease. Community members that are aware of their HIV infection are less likely to transmit HIV.
We thank our friends in the St. Joseph community for taking on this challenge and for helping Northwest Health and the St. Joseph Health Department make our community healthier, stronger, and smarter.
Together Northwest Health clinics collectively support 16 counties in Missouri providing comprehensive, high-quality care in the areas of medical, dental and behavioral health. For more information on Northwest Health and the services we provide, visit us online at nwhealth-services.org.