Two HIV awareness campaigns are teaming up this month to promote HIV testing and treatment. The Get Yourself Tested campaign (GYT) and Greater Than AIDS (>AIDS) have teamed up for National HIV Testing Awareness Month, to promote greater awareness of the importance of HIV testing, treatment and education.
As we mark 30 years of AIDS, it’s worth noting the tremendous progress made in terms of the life-saving treatments now available, but to benefit from these advances one must first know their status,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President & Director, Health Communication & Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, a partner on both campaigns. “Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested is an empowering, uplifting message that makes getting tested an act of pride, not shame.”
“Our audience has never known a time without HIV, but through efforts like GYT, we’re committed to empowering them to forge a world where HIV doesn’t exist,” said Jason Rzepka, Vice President of Public Affairs, MTV. “We’re proud to join with this remarkable coalition and reinforce regular testing as one way America’s youth can be greater than AIDS.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than one million Americans living with HIV today, one in five of those infected don’t know their status. The CDC encourages all Americans between the ages of 13-64 to get tested on a routine basis as part of their overall health and well-being similar to cholesterol, blood pressure, and other screens.
Fear is useless, get the test. The key to a longer, healthier life with HIV is early diagnosis and treatment. So if you’ve been thinking about it, do it. If you need a friend to go with you, call someone. Better yet, grab your best friend and just go together.
The key to preventing this disease is treating the people who already have it. We know that people who are taking their meds are much less likely to pass on the virus. And if they don’t pass on the virus, it can’t spread. The greatest reason for this epidemic today is this: people who don’t know their status- who are HIV infected and are not treating it, are infecting their partners. Treatment may well be the greatest key to prevention.
Let’s stop the cycle.