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State health officials urge Hoosiers to check HIV status

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – State health officials are asking Indiana residents to get checked for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as part of National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

HIV, which has no cure, can be transmitted sexually, through shared drug injection and blood, breast milk and other bodily fluids. The virus weakens a person’s immune system by destroying cells that fight disease and infection. HIV can progress to AIDS.

Testing and taking care of HIV early on are crucial parts of managing HIV infections and preventing the spread of disease.

“HIV is a preventable disease and one that can be managed long-term with medication,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “Every Hoosier would benefit from knowing their HIV status, but testing is especially important for people who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors and injection drug use. By getting tested, Hoosiers can protect their own health and that of those close to them.”

According to a release, 543 Hoosiers were diagnosed with HIV in 2015, while 78 were diagnosed with AIDS. By the end of 2015, 11,704 Indiana residents were living with HIV or AIDS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 13 percent of people with HIV are not aware they have the virus.

Health care providers and local health departments can provide testing, which consists of oral fluids and blood. Click here to find a testing site near you.

Click here to learn more about National HIV Testing Day.

Click here to find testing events in Indiana.

Click here for more information about HIV.