Health

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day

Every week, 10 people are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in San Diego. Thursday is National HIV Testing Day and County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials are encouraging people to get tested.

“All adults 18 and over should get tested, whether they think they are at risk or not,” said Patrick Loose, chief of the HHSA HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch. “Getting tested is extremely important because one in seven people who are infected with HIV are not aware of it.”

Getting tested is easy to do. You can ask your doctor to perform the HIV test during a routine physical exam or you can go to a County STD clinic and have it done there. In most circumstances, you will generally have the results in 20 minutes or less.

Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the early ‘80s, about 15,000 San Diego County residents have been diagnosed with AIDS. Since 2006, more than 5,400 residents have been diagnosed with HIV disease.

Advances in medication and treatment have helped individuals with AIDS to live longer, healthier lives. Of the individuals diagnosed with AIDS in San Diego County, 7,221 are currently alive.

“The earlier we can detect, the more treatment options there are and the better the outcome is going to be,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “People should get tested regardless of who their sexual partner is.”

Testing people for HIV is part of Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative to improve the health and well-being of local residents.

To learn more about HIV and AIDS and testing locations, visit www.stdsandiego.org

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact