June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day, an annual campaign coordinated by the National Association of People with AIDS to encourage people of all ages to “Take the Test, Take Control.”

“Every nine and a half minutes, someone in the United States becomes infected with HIV. Many people who have HIV don’t know it. Many people who have HIV don’t know it”, said Kathleen G. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested as a routine part of their medical care.

Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available live-saving treatments and take steps to protect their partners.

Routine screening will limit the spread of HIV, connect those with HIV to the care and treatment they need, and improve overall public health in this country, said Arlene Bardeguez, chair of the HIV Medicine Association in a press release.

We need to implement the routine testing policy CDC recommended in 2006 now with strong linkages to care. It is imperative that the proposed comprehensive health care reform for our country have this approach as a cornerstone of a national HIV/AIDS strategy”, Bardeguez added.

Visit www.hivtest.org for more information about HIV Testing Day, including a searchable list of testing sites across the country.