The Urgency of Now: The Real Cost of HIV Testing
Today, NMAC recognizes National HIV Testing Day. For 30 years, we have advocated that efficient, effective, and inexpensive HIV testing be made available to all communities, especially to communities of color. This year’s theme for National HIV Testing Day is Test Your Way. Do It Today. While innovative treatment options such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) are leading pathways to end the epidemic, knowing one’s status is still a vital step in the HIV health care continuum.
While great strides in HIV prevention and treatment have been made, HIV is still a public health crisis. Today, more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIVand nearly one out of seven of them is unaware of their status. We have the tools to end the epidemic, but it is vital that our movement receive the funds it needs to save lives.
When considering the long-term financial costs of HIV, it’s important to understand that preventing HIV is more cost-effective than subsidizing the cost of someone’s lifetime HIV treatment. Despite this reality, this Administration has proposed budget cuts that would result in at least 1,000,000 fewer HIV tests to be performed each year – meaning that thousands of people will be unaware of their HIV status and, as a result, increase their risk for HIV and/or fail to start treatment altogether. The fact is: testing is essential.
So, today, register for our HIV/STI Action Day being held on Wednesday, September 6, and meet with your member of Congress. Now is the time for you to demand that they save our services. Our movement must work together to ensure that the costs for these life-saving services are not cut.
Yours in the Struggle,