OSDH Encourages Testing on World AIDS Day
Oklahoma City – Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages individuals who may need testing for HIV, the virus that can cause Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), to seek it out.
The CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime and at least once a year if a person partakes in activities that might increase their risk.
Oklahoma is one of seven states that has been identified with the highest rural burden of HIV. The other six states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina.
“HIV can affect anyone,” said William Andrews, public information officer for the Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service. “Stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS can lead to a delay in people seeking testing and treatment. But the quicker we are able to get individuals tested, the quicker we can get them connected to treatment, which is critical.”
People who test regularly are aware of their HIV status and can access HIV treatment and care more quickly and remain healthy for many years and possibly their entire life.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health.