National HIV Testing Day (June 27) is an annual observance dedicated to motivating people to get tested, know their status, and be in control of their health and wellbeing. The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) founded National HIV Testing Day in 1995, when HIV testing and treatment had developed enough to enable HIV-positive individuals to take steps in managing their health.
National HIV Testing Day was inspired by NAPWA’s belief that with these treatments and testing, HIV would disappear. Unfortunately, with these drugs, the disease was only treatable, not curable. While progress is being made in the fight on HIV/AIDS, it remains a global pandemic. In 2010, the number of people who had died from AIDS was 400,000 fewer (an 18% decline) than it was in 2005.
The dream of a world without HIV/AIDS is the driving force behind AIDS Research Alliance’s (ARA) research. ARA is working on a potential HIV cure strategy, as well as an HIV vaccine. An HIV-free generation, however, cannot be realized until everyone understands that they are vulnerable. Everyone needs to get tested and educated about HIV. Individuals unaware that they are positive transmit the majority of new HIV infections. ARA celebrates National HIV Testing Day because knowing your status is the first step to taking control of your own body and contributing to an HIV-free generation. This day fuels the hope that with awareness, treatment, and further research, HIV will disappear from our future.