Communities Nationwide Recognize National HIV Testing Day; U.S. First Lady Addresses Importance of Testing
Communities nationwide on Friday will promote and offer no-cost HIV screenings to mark National HIV Testing Day, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports (Torbati, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 6/26). According to HHS, an estimated 250,000 people in the U.S. are HIV-positive and are not aware of their status. HIV/AIDS is severely impacting the black and Hispanic communities, as well as men who have sex with men in all groups, Kevin Fenton -- director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention -- said (Coley, Charleston Post and Courier, 6/26). CDC in 2006 recommended that written consent and pretest counseling requirements be dropped; however, many physicians and health care facilities have not "embraced" the approach, according to the Sun-Sentinel. In addition, evidence suggests that people who are unaware of their HIV-positive status do not get tested for the virus, even after visiting emergency departments or physicians multiple times, according to Marlene LaLota, HIV prevention director for the Florida Department of Health (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 6/26).
A Charlotte Observer Q&A with first lady Laura Bush is available online. In addition, a survey from Test for Life about attitudes toward HIV/AIDS, testing and other issues is available online.