The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA), AIDS.gov and several other local and national groups work together to organize this effort. National HIV Testing Day was developed to build education and awareness in response to the growing number of HIV infections.
We believe routine testing is important for people of all ages. But we also believe education and understanding is important to answer any unknown questions.
What is HIV?
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. This virus kills your body’s CD4 cells which help your body fight off infection and disease. This disease can then lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
HIV can be passed to another person if a person infected with HIV shares needles or has sex with another person. HIV can also be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.
An important fact to know is that anyone can get HIV.
How do you get HIV?
You can get HIV from someone who is infected in the following ways:
Sharing a syringe or needle to inject drugs or preparing shared drug equipment with someone who has HIV.
Having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV.
From a blood transfusion prior to 1985. (All blood in the U.S. has been tested for HIV since 1985.)
Being born to a mother infected with HIV.
Ways you canNOT get HIV include:
From simply being around someone who is infected.
Through everyday things such as sharing a meal, phone, toilet seat or coming into contact with sweat, tears and clothes.
Insect bites or stings.
Kissing without open-mouth contact. (The chances of getting it while kissing is only in the case of blood contact.)