21 May Why Should Women Get Tested for HIV?

In the United States, women account for nearly 20% of all new HIV infections. For most women, HIV often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected, heterosexual person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person.

Although we’ve seen a 40% decline in the number of new diagnosis among women, women made up 19% (8,328) of the estimated 44,073 new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2014. African American and Hispanic/Latina women continue to be disproportionality infected. In fact, women of color represent 1 out of 4 new infections for an estimated 5,813 new infections each year in the U.S.

According to the CDC, 11% of women with HIV do not know that they are infected. 

The CDC recommends that everyone should get tested at least ONCE in their lifetime, so if you haven’t been tested yet, now is the time. You can request the test from your doctor or visit one of our convenient community test sites. Testing at one of our community test sites is free, quick, easy, painless and no appointment is required.

If you’ve been tested already but think you’ve put yourself at risk, you should get tested more often.

You are at higher risk for HIV if you are:

  • Having unprotected sex with more than one partner
  • Injecting drugs, either now or in the past
  • Having sex with someone to get money or drugs in return, or having sex with someone who has traded sex for money or drugs

The only way to know for sure if you are infected with HIV is to take the test.

If you test negative, you can take steps to stay that way.

If you find out that you are infected with HIV, we can help link you to the care and support that you need. If you are pregnant, getting in care and staying in care early will help reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby.

Protect yourself and your health by knowing your status.

It’s never too early or late to work toward being your healthiest you! If all women in the Coachella Valley get tested – and if everyone who tests positive receives treatment – we can launch the beginning of the end for the spread of HIV in our community!

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