September 27 is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This national awareness day was first launch in 2008 by the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), as a way to draw attention to the disproportionate impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on gay men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 57% of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States are gay and bisexual men, even though they only account for approximately 2% of the overall population.
There are many ways you can get involved and mark the day. See below for a range of resource on learning more about HIV/AIDS, getting tested, and finding resources that can help.
- Learn about HIV, from how it is transmitted to how you can get tested.
- Check out the many campaigns of the CDC:
- Start Talking. Stop HIV. The campaign encourages open and honest conversations about HIV and how to prevent it—testing, disclosure, condom use—among gay and bisexual men, with the goal of reducing new HV infections among this population.
- Testing Makes Us Stronger. Developed with input from black gay and bisexual men across the country, this national campaign promotes HIV testing among black gay and bisexual men.
- Reasons/Razones. This bilingual (English/Spanish) campaign encourages HIV testing among Latino gay and bisexual men.
- HIV Treatment Works. A campaign to encourage people living with HIV to get in care, start taking HIV medications, remain in care, and adhere to treatment.
- Find out about how the Affordable Care Act helps people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Follow ASHA on Facebook and Twitter and share #NGMHAAD posts and updates.
The only way to tell you have HIV is get tested for the virus. Knowing your HIV status has two vital benefits. Firstly, if you are HIV positive, you can take necessary steps before symptoms appear to access treatment, care and support services, thereby potentially prolonging your life for many years. Secondly if you know you are infected, you can take all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of HIV to others. The more you know about your own health and well being the better able you are able to take care of yourself and the people you love.
To find a place near you where you can get tested, simply enter your zip code in the box below and hit Go. You can also learn more about HIV testing here.