Oregon HIV experts address how testing can help prevent new infections

I would just like to see more testing. I
think that if we actually tested everybody the way the recommendations
are in terms of age frame and not necessarily based on risk factor, we
would really be able to identify everyone who is HIV infected. The main
problem are these patients who are out there who have HIV and simply don’t know
it because of HIV s prolonged period of clinical latency. About a third, depending
on where you are in the state, in our area, it’s a third that can be up to a
half depending on if you’re in a more rural area of the folks who we do
diagnosed with HIV. They’ve been living with it for five, eight, ten, twelve years
without being diagnosed. We’re really trying to advocate for HIV testing in
the community as far as educating providers, particularly in primary care,
that HIV testing is now part of primary care, because there’s been a lot of
stigma around HIV testing as far as how to do it, what does it mean when the
patient has a positive diagnosis of HIV, to try and get folks to recognize that
HIV testing is actually very easy to obtain and that there are providers out
there who are very willing and able to take care of patients if and when they
are diagnosed with HIV. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself with a
diagnosis because if you get treated it’s not transmittable, you can live, you
know. I always share with people that I think I’m in my thirty-second year of living with HIV and AIDS. Yeah, I have a pretty incredible life. Really over the past several years, this effort to
prevent transmission is really possible. We just gotta get everybody involved and
get everybody on board. you

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