Each year, on June 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other national and local entities across the country celebrate National HIV Testing Day.

This campaign sends the message, “Take the Test, Take Control,” to those unaware of their HIV status.

According to the CDC, in the United States, nearly 1.1 million people are living with HIV and almost one in six don’t know they are infected.

Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.

The CDC recommends that providers in all health care settings make HIV testing a routine part of medical care for patients ages 13 to 64. As part of the National HIV Testing Day campaign, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is encouraging all health care providers to adopt routine HIV screening policies. This practice not only increases the number of people tested it helps reduce the stigma around testing.

Click here for detailed HIV testing recommendations.

To obtain an HIV test, contact your medical provider or click here for low-cost confidential testing.