This past week, the CDC instituted a “National HIV Testing Day.” The CDC felt so strongly about the importance of HIV testing that to gain awareness about this STD and its growing problem, it created an all-out, nation-wide campaign. Not only was the purpose to promote HIV testing itself but to raise awareness that over 1 million Americans are infected with HIV but about 20% of them don’t realize they have the virus.
What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. Crucial components in our blood stream work to fight off disease and infection. The HIV virus goes after those components. Medications may suppress the symptoms of the disease and lower the risk of transference of HIV, but currently there is no cure. The late-stage of the HIV virus is considered AIDS. This is when the body is damaged severely and very susceptible to diseases, infections and cancers. Physical relationships with anyone who has HIV will put you at risk for contracting the virus. Those who are at highest risk for HIV include those with multiple sexual partners gay and bisexual men and intravenous drug users.
AIDS & The Americans with Disabilities Act
Some may hesitate to test for HIV due to any stigmas or discrimination that may come with being HIV-positive. However the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against those with HIV (many who have physical impairments because of the disease.) The ADA “guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.” – Dept. of Justice. Those with HIV/AIDS qualify under this program.
Learn more about HIV being covered under the ADA.
HIV Testing for your Employees
If you’d like to promote testing for HIV in your workplace, let employees know about the rapid HIV test. This test requires only oral fluids and 20 minutes. After a specimen is collected, you can receive results within minutes. It takes away the painful days of waiting for a phone call and can quickly let you know if you’re testing positive or negative for the HIV virus.
Test Smartly Labs offers rapid HIV testing in their walk-in labs.
Find the closest Test Smartly Labs near you.