The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging Connecticut residents to get tested for HIV in recognition of National HIV Testing Day.
According to the DPH, 10,290 people were known to be living with HIV at the end of 2009; and during 2005-2009, 2,115 people were newly diagnosed with HIV infection. In addition, Federal health officials estimate that 20% of people with HIV infection do not know they are infected.
“As with many other health conditions, early detection is key with HIV infection” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Unfortunately almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they already have developed AIDS and may have been infected for up to 10 years prior to the diagnosis. Treatments are available to help manage HIV infection and avoid or delay progression to AIDS.”
She added that “by getting tested and knowing their HIV status, people with HIV can get treated early and avoid transmitting the virus to others.”
The Connecticut DPH supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations that health care providers include HIV testing as part of routine health care for individuals 13-64 years. “Getting tested for HIV is simple and can be done by your health care provider,” said Commissioner Mullen. “Or people can get tested at agencies supported by DPH to provide free HIV testing.”
Tto find out which agencies supported by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) are conducting community HIV testing activities go online to www.ct.gov/dph/hivtesting or call 860 509-7801. Anyone who is 13 years of age or older can be treated or tested confidentially and without parental consent.