EP18: HIV, Testing, and More!

It’s been 40 years since the first case of HIV was reported in the United States. As we reach this anniversary, Black Body Health The Podcast reflects on how our society has navigated through this epidemic.

In light of National HIV Testing Day, this episode will tell you about the importance of knowing your status and the commonly  expressed barriers of getting tested.

J. Donte`Prayer, health access coordinator for North Carolina AIDS Action Network joins our podcast. We also have Torrain Baskerville, senior associate for prevention at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.

Prayer says in North Carolina, increasing HIV testing and access to PrEP has been successful. Baskerville says in a general sense, there is a lot to be proud of in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The CDC reports that the amount of new cases of HIV has dropped by 8 percent in the last 6 years. Specific populations that have been hit hard in this epidemic are receiving the attention and help they need. The use of preventative medications like PrEP has increased by 23 percent. The move towards rapid HIV tests has made it easier for people to learn their status and start the necessary treatments.

However, there is still stigma that affects subcommunities living with HIV that need to be addressed. African Americans and trasngender women still experience the highest rate of HIV in the country.

People in rural communities are often reluctant to get tested or seek help for fear of judgement or ridicule.

To find a testing location, you can visit gettested.cdc.gov/.

Click here for condoms or PrEP providers near you.