National HIV Testing Day
June 20, 2013
By Melissa DiOrio
Dartmouth-Hitchcock is collaborating with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide free rapid testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during National HIV Testing Day on Thursday, June 27.
Rapid testing for HIV, which does not involve the drawing of blood, screens for the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV spreads primarily through unprotected sex, sharing of needles among infected people, and transmission from infected mothers to their babies. Results of the tests are available within 20 minutes, and appropriate staff will be on hand to review and discuss your results.
In April, 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released new guidelines recommending routine HIV testing for ALL adults age 15-65, in concordance with longstanding recommendations from the CDC. Currently, less than half of Americans have ever been tested. About 1.2 million Americans have HIV, yet 20-25 percent of those do not know that they are infected. About 50,000 Americans are newly infected each year.
The need for more comprehensive testing is evident throughout the US, but the need is particularly urgent in New Hampshire. New Hampshire has one of the highest concurrent HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates in the country: ~63 percent of newly diagnosed HIV infected individuals in NH are diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months, compared to 33 percent nationally.
For those who are infected, late diagnosis compromises their health, increases the costs of care and allows them to unknowingly infect others.
Our HIV program estimates that only half of NH HIV infected residents are aware, receiving care and optimally treated. This results in a lot of unnecessary suffering and directly contributes to the ongoing expansion of the epidemic.
Testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at each location. Directional signage will be posted guiding folks to the appropriate department.
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon: Level 3M, General Internal Medicine
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Heater Road, Lebanon: Level 2, Family Medicine
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester: Level 2, Infectious Disease
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua: Level 4, Infectious Disease
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene: Level 2A, Infectious Disease
For more information
- Call 603-271-4502 (NH Dept. of Health & Human Services)
- Participating sites in New Hampshire
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)