National HIV Testing Day is June 27

In recognition and appreciation of an important annual event that was first observed on June 27, 1995, this year’s National HIV Testing Day is Wednesday, June 27, featuring the theme "Doing It My Way, Testing for HIV".

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a disease that results in the body being unable to fight off infections and disease. HIV may result in AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which is the most severe form of HIV infection and one of the world’s most serious health challenges.

Since the earliest case in North America was confirmed in 1968, the AIDS-related epidemic has resulted in 35 million deaths worldwide.

In most cases, HIV is transmitted through sexual behaviors and needle or syringe use where bodily fluids are transported from one person to another. HIV is transmitted when those fluids enter a mucous membrane or damaged tissue. Transmission may also occur when those fluids are injected into the bloodstream via a needle or syringe. Depending on temperature and additional factors, HIV may live in a used needle for up to 42 days.

Within a few weeks of contracting HIV, victims may present with extreme flu symptoms that include a fever, sore throat, swollen glands, muscle and joint aches and pains, a rash and/or a headache. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 1 in 7 people in the United States who have contracted HIV have no idea it’s in their system. If you have any reason at all to believe you may have HIV, getting tested as soon as possible could be the first step towards receiving life sustaining treatments and medical care.

While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral therapy or ART, if taken correctly each day, can dramatically prolong the lives of HIV-infected individuals to the point where if treated prior to the disease becoming advanced, individuals can live nearly as long as those without HIV.  An early diagnosis with the proper treatment may also reduce the spread of HIV to others. 

Eskenazi Health Center offers routine HIV screenings at all primary care locations to patients between the ages of 13 and 64 who have not been screened in the past 12 months. With a simple mouth swab, patients receive their results before they leave. For those newly diagnosed, we offer immediate linkage to care in our infectious disease clinic. More than 12,000 people are currently living with HIV in Indiana.

If you have questions about testing for HIV, or if you’re looking for a primary care physician for yourself, please call 317-880-7666 or visit  

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD
Eskenazi Health Center Primary Care – Center of Excellence in Women’s Health

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