My dear friend Todd Heywood, who has pretty much written the book on how to report on HIV issues, notes that June 27 is National HIV Testing Day and he is urging everyone to go get tested for HIV, especially those who are in high-risk groups. He writes about a panel discussion he participated in at the Netroots Nation conference today:
And during the conversation we realized that we needed to do something to encourage HIV testing. June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (technically it is National Gay Men’s Testing Day, but who’s counting at this point?) and we decided it would be incredibly helpful to encourage folks to get tested for HIV. But not just get tested – to tweet, Facebook or blog about their test with a picture or two with the hashtag #TestMe.
Why? Because HIV remains a serious issue in the United States, one that is significantly underdiagnosed. There are an estimated 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, says the CDC, and 20 percent of those do not know they are infected. A person living with an undiagnosed HIV infection is 3.5 time MORE likely to transmit the virus. Getting diagnosed is the first step in preventing the transmission of the virus…
Let us begin on June 27, 2013. Get tested. Grab 10 other folks and have them get tested. Tweet your pictures, videos or stories. Blog about the experience, or send me an email and I will happily share your story on ViralApartheid.com.
I think that’s a hell of an idea.