National Testing Day is the National HIV Testing Day, usually held on June 27th. It is a yearly campaign scheduled and coordinated by the National Association of People with AIDS. They encourage people to ‘Take the Test, Take Control’. Early HIV diagnosis is essential, so that infected persons can utilize and benefit from life saving treatments available that can improve the quality of life and delay the onset of AIDS. The current situation is such that nearly 40% of HIV infected persons are not detected till they have already developed AIDS, which is a good ten years after they have been infected with HIV. Early HIV testing can help a person improve the quality of his life as well as the health of his partner and children. The most important aspect of the National Testing day is that a halt can be imposed on the HIV epidemic by testing and prevention.
The National Testing day emphasizes and creates awareness on five vital reasons to get tested:
The National Association of People with AIDS coordinates and works with community based organization, elected officials, government and federal agencies, individuals, and private organizations to build adequate infrastructure for HIV testing and expanding the reach of HIV test centers to reach the maximum number of people, to minimize the stigma attached to AIDS and to promote HIV-positive leadership. Recent awareness programs have targeted the communities that have a larger burden of the disease such as Latinos, African-Americans, teenagers and sex workers. The initiatives undertaken by the National Association of People with AIDS is further enhanced with the National Policy on AIDS undertaken by various governments across the world. The policy stresses on reducing the number of new infections, increasing access to care and optimizing health of HIV infected persons, and reducing differences between HIV related health issues.