Know Your Status, Help Us Win the Battle Against HIV/AIDS

statement of Mark Ishaug, President and CEO, AIDS United

WASHINGTON, D.C. June 27, 2011 -- Just a few weeks ago, we marked the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic, and since that time we have been taking stock of what we have accomplished, how we have responded to challenges, and where we see the most promise in ending HIV/AIDS. 

Today's National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) gives us another important opportunity this month to recognize the impact of HIV/AIDS in America, and to educate ourselves about one of the most significant actions that we can take as individuals in the fight against the AIDS epidemic – getting an HIV test – so we can all know our status.

Today, CDC estimates approximately 21 percent of the 1.3 million Americans living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status.  If we don’t know our status, we won’t connect to life-saving care and treatment.  If we don’t know our status, we won’t take steps to prevent transmitting HIV to others.  If we don’t know our status, we won’t be able to end the HIV epidemic.  It’s that simple.

AIDS United and hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations around the country have proclaimed that 30 years of this epidemic is enough.  It is time that we all work even harder to bring about a new anniversary to actually celebrate: The End of HIV/AIDS.  HIV/AIDS is a winnable battle and you can help us win.  Take the test. Know your status.  Take control of your life.  Be well!