Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HIV Testing Day

HIV tests are used to detect the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), in serum, saliva, or urine. Such tests may detect antibodies, antigens, or RNA.

Monday is National HIV Testing Day and the Illinois Department of Public Health is sponsoring numerous events around the state to help people get tested for the virus that causes AIDS. The said state is the seventh-highest number of AIDS cases in the nation, with more than 41,000 reported cases since 1981.

This event encourages people to be tested for HIV because many people infected with the virus don't know they have it. Testing and counseling are some of the activities to be held around the state.

HIV can be acquired in many ways.  It can be transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk but not through saliva, tears, sweat, feces, urine, hugging, kissing, massage, shaking hands, insect bites, living in the same house with someone who has HIV or sharing showers or toilets with them.