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STRIDE in the Community: Statement on National HIV Testing Day

June 27th 2024 is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) in the US! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with countless other HIV organizations from coast to coast cooperate together in order to increase HIV testing awareness around this time. This year’s theme is “Level up your self-love: check your status,” emphasizing the concept of taking charge of your own health and wellness by testing for HIV. Knowing your HIV status promotes self-respect and self-value, as well as respect for others. Increasing testing access and frequency to more people around the country can help them enter the conversation about taking HIV PrEP or entering into HIV treatment if testing positive for HIV. Unfortunately, several demographics are disproportionally affected by HIV infection and lack the resources for both prevention and treatment. These include: gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM); transgender women of any race, and cisgender Black women.


The CDC has funded several programs to specifically address this health disparity in these populations by increasing at-home testing kits and linkage to care if testing positive. The community that STRIDE cares for is negatively impacted by such health disparities throughout the greater Denver Metro Area, which lead to decreased HIV testing, HIV PrEP uptake, and linkage to HIV treatment. Starting off with recommending an HIV screening test to patients seen at our clinic system can narrow the gap between our patients’ minimal healthcare and the government-funded programs for HIV prevention and treatment. In addition, it is recommended by the CDC to test anyone age 13-64 for HIV at least once in their lifetime as part of routine care, a concept that every provider within STRIDE is striving to achieve. STRIDE Community Health Center is committed to providing HIV testing to any and all patients who request it, as well as educa.ng providers to recommend testing within certain populations who have a higher incidence of HIV infections as mentioned above.


On this NHTD, we should all keep in mind those who could benefit from HIV testing, as providers, it is our responsibility to inform our patients about how HIV testing could improve their health either preventatively (by entering into a conversation about PrEP) or with rapid-start HIV treatment (if tested positive). Encourage patients to improve their “self-love,” and have control of their health by "checking [their] status.” Our clinic system has the power to decrease HIV burden locally and help the worldwide effort of Ending the HIV Epidemic by 2030.


Please reach out to philanthropy@stridechc.org to learn more about STRIDE's Infectious Disease Program Prioritization.


References:

- “National HIV Tes.ng Day—2024” Na2onal Center for HIV, Viral Hepa22s, STD, and


Tuberculosis Preven2on. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jun 2024.

- “National HIV Testing".

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han gu
han gu
10 jul

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I appreciate the emphasis on self-love and empowerment through HIV testing. It's crucial to support initiatives that promote awareness and access to testing, especially among disproportionately affected communities. Every test taken is a step toward ending the HIV epidemic. tunnel rush

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