National HIV Testing Day
More than 40 million people around the world are infected with HIV and nearly one million of them are Americans. Our knowledge about AIDS and the virus that causes it, HIV, have grown exponentially over the past few decades but not enough for us to have developed a cure yet.
For this reason a day has been set aside to raise awareness about the need to get tested. June 27th 2007 has been declared National HIV Testing Day in the US but whether or not you reside in the US anyone who knows they may be at risk is encouraged to get tested for the virus. Oh yes, we have heard it said that ignorance is bliss, the truth is that sometimes what you don't know can indeed hurt you (and sometimes others). Just because I refused to check the weather before I left the house and decided instead to dress like it was summertime in the Bahamas...this did not stop the dreary San Francisco fog from rolling in and neither did it prevent me from getting bludgeoned by the cold snaps of wind! I think you get my drift.
Medically speaking, treatment and management of the disease have a come long way and continue to move in a positive and hopeful direction. On a social level, the more people are educated about the disease the better equipped they are to respond to those who are afflicted by it. Getting diagnosed with AIDS or finding out that one is HIV positive can never be an easy pill to swallow but it is a bridge that must be crossed all the same. Get tested.
Photo courtesy of Robert Miller