National HIV Testing Day 2020 - Important Date, History of National HIV Testing Day, Causes, Symptoms of HIV & Facts

National HIV Testing Day 2020 - On 27 June 2020, National HIV Testing Day is observed to encourage people all around the world to take HIV tests and spread awareness about the care and treatments of HIV. Get the information about the history of National HIV Testing Day, causes and symptoms of HIV, facts & how to observe the National HIV Testing Day 2020.

Sheena | Updated Jun 26, 2020 18:14 PM

National HIV Testing Day 2020 - Important Date, History of National HIV Testing Day,  Causes, Symptoms of HIV & Facts

National HIV Testing Day 2020 

National HIV Testing Day is celebrated on June 27 of every year. National HIV Testing Day 2020 is observed to raise awareness about the necessity of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV. On this National HIV Testing Day, people from all the age groups should take HIV testing and provide support to the affected people.
There are almost 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States and nearly one in seven people don't know they are infected. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people of age group between 13 to 64 receive an HIV test as part of a health care routine.

What is the theme of National HIV Testing Day 2020?

The theme of National HIV Testing Day 2020 is ‘Knowing’. The theme focuses on various ways to remain in-the-know about HIV testing and to provide more awareness about options related to HIV prevention, monitoring, and treatment. This year also focuses on self-testing as an alternative when in-person patient-clinician interaction and facilities-based resources are minimal.

What is the history of National HIV Testing Day?

The National Association of People with AIDS created National HIV Testing Day(NHTD) to encourage HIV testing and to help prevent the virus from spreading. On 27 June 1995, the first National HIV Testing Day was observed. The National Association of People with AIDS found this day to spread awareness of ‘Take the Test, Take Control’ all around the country.
The National Association of People with AIDS encourages HIV testing on National HIV Testing Day and to ensure that people are tested for HIV, know their status, and get connected to care and treatment services.

What is HIV?

HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that causes damage to the immune system. The immune system helps the body to infections. Untreated HIV infects and kills CD4 cells. CD4 is a type of immune cell which is also known as T cells. Over time the body is more likely to get various types of infections and cancers as HIV kills more CD4 cells. HIV is transmitted through body fluids, which includes

  • Blood

  • Semen

  • Vaginal and rectal fluids

  • Breast milk

Some ways in which HIV is spread from one person to another include:

  • Through vaginal or anal intercourse

  • By sharing syringes or needles

  • By sharing tattoo equipment without sterilizing 

  • During pregnancy

  • During breastfeeding

What are the symptoms of HIV?

There are many symptoms of HIV. Not everybody will get the same symptoms. It depends on the person and what stage of illness they are in.

The early stage of symptoms are

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Rash

  • Night sweats

  • Muscle aches

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Mouth ulcers

The last stage of symptoms are

  • Rapid weight loss

  • Recurring fever or night sweats

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits or neck

  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week

  • Sores of the mouth, genitals, or anus

  • Pneumonia

  • Red, pink, brown or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, eyelids or nose 

  • Memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders

How to observe National HIV Testing Day?

On this National HIV Testing Day, visit the nearby clinic and get tested. Some of the other ways include:

  • Learn more about prevention and risk factors involved in HIV

  • Helps to remove the stigma associated with HIV / AIDS through awareness

  • Go and visit the nearby clinic or get self-testing

  • Participate in the events conducted by various organizations

  • Spread more awareness to the friends and families

  • Support the affected people and encourage them to live healthier

What is the theme of National HIV Testing Day 2019?

The National HIV Testing Day 2019 theme was ‘Doing It My Way’. The theme was aimed to reflect the importance of HIV testing & early diagnosis. Generally, it takes time for the body to produce enough antibodies for an HIV test to show that a person has HIV. An antibody test can detect the HIV infection is 3 weeks. Early-stage of  HIV infection is defined as getting diagnosed within six months of infection. Early detection can help fight HIV, keep the immune system healthy, and keep the individual from spreading the virus.

HIV - Facts

HIV and AIDS are not the same. HIV is the virus and it causes AIDS

HIV testing is reliable. The virus itself is detected by new HIV tests and a marker on the virus called p24 antigen. Such tests will detect infection with HIV much faster than previous tests

HIV can’t be cured and there is no vaccine for HIV-prevention

HIV-positive people should start medication immediately

A pregnant woman with HIV will reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to her unborn child to less than 1%

Globally, in 2015, there were an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV, of whom 1.8 million were children
HIV does not spread by mosquitoes, tears, sweat or casual contact

An estimated 1.2 million of the 10.4 million people worldwide who contracted TB in 2015 were HIV-positive

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National HIV Testing Day - FAQ

1. Why is HIV testing important?

Studies show that people who start early treatment after diagnosis, the more they benefit from antiretroviral therapy or ART. ART treatment reduces the amount of HIV in the blood, decreases HIV-related disease, and helps prevent transmission to others.

2. How is HIV tested?

Typically, HIV tests are done on the blood or oral fluid. They can be done on urine too. A NAT checks for the real virus in the blood and involves blood drawn from a vein. The test may either say whether a person has HIV, or say how much virus there is in the blood.

3. Is HIV different from AIDS?

HIV is the virus and it causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.HIV and AIDS are not exactly the same. And HIV-patients don't always have AIDS.

4. Can a person get AIDS without getting HIV?

It means that the body stays healthy, so it can not spread the virus. AIDS is a syndrome or set of symptoms that may develop in a person with HIV who is not receiving treatment at a time. A person may have HIV without developing AIDS but AIDS is not possible without HIV first.

5. What are the stages of HIV?

There are three stages of HIV infection namely acute HIV infection, chronic HIV infection, and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).