THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY OBSERVES NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY 2021
June 24, 2021
Miami, FL - June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). This annual observance encourages people to be aware of their HIV status so that they can take control of their health. This year’s NHTD theme, “My Test, My Way,” highlights that when it comes to HIV testing, there are many options available.
“This year choose a HIV test that fits your schedule whether it’s taking a test alone at home or going to a clinic or an outreach event with a friend,” said Yesenia Villalta, DNP, MSN, APRN, Administrator/Health Officer, Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County.
In 2019, 4,584 people were diagnosed with HIV in Florida. At the end of that year, 116,689 Floridians were confirmed to be living with HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an additional 18,200 Floridians were living with HIV but unaware of it.
On NHTD, we emphasize the importance of getting tested, but knowing your HIV status is only the beginning. What you do to stay healthy after that largely depends on your results. Earlier diagnosis of HIV leads to more successful treatment, so getting tested and learning your HIV status is crucial to your health. Everyone ages 13–64 should get tested at least once, and some people should get tested more often.
There is a public health impact of getting an HIV test: because HIV prevention strategies differ between people with and without HIV, knowing your status is the first step toward effective HIV prevention. People living with HIV who take antiretroviral medication as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners. People without HIV should talk to a health care provider to determine appropriate prevention strategies, which might include taking PrEP, using condoms and/or getting retested regularly.
We have the power to both prevent and treat HIV. Visit www.testmiami.org to learn more about testing options in your area or to order a free at-home HIV testing kit mailed directly to the address of your choice. For more information, call 1-800-FLA-AIDS; en Español, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101.