Doctors remind New Yorkers to get tested ahead of National HIV Testing Day
Tuesday is National HIV Testing Day, and News 12 spoke with staff at a local health center about the importance of getting tested.
Data from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that in 2021, there were over 129,000 people living with HIV in New York City, with 30,000 of them in Brooklyn and 31,000 of them in the Bronx.
Staff at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in downtown Brooklyn are urging people to know the importance of getting tested.
Guide: Where to get tested for HIV
“To raise awareness around HIV and also recognize that a lot of people don't know their status, anyone who's sexually active should be getting an HIV test, which should be a part of their routine screenings for health services,” said managing director Aruna Krishna Kumar.
Kumar says about 25% of Callen-Lorde’s patients who live with the virus are treated with the help of medications like Prep.
“HIV is now a very manageable chronic illness,” said Kumar. “If you take medication everyday, you can be undetectable, which means that you can essentially have very little virus in your body and have a long healthy life."
To kick off National HIV Testing Day, staff at Callen-Lorde are hosting a free event in Union Square on Tuesday, where anyone can stop by and get tested from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.