“Doing it My Way, Testing for HIV”

June 27, 2018

In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, Spokane Regional Health District encourages individuals to get tested for HIV. Numerous health care providers in Spokane County provide this testing or people can visit cdc.gov/DoingItMyWay to find a convenient testing location.

This year’s theme is: “Doing it My Way, Testing for HIV.”

Each year, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes this day to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis.

People who find out they are infected with HIV can seek medical care and get prompt treatment, which helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. Knowing your status can also reduce the risks of infecting others with HIV.

The number of new HIV cases in Spokane County is usually between 20 to 25 cases annually. For the most recent year of data available, 23 new cases were detected in the county with eight (35%) cases classified as late HIV diagnoses, i.e., these cases received an AIDS diagnosis within 12 months of HIV diagnosis. 

On average, approximately 550 individuals in Spokane County are living with HIV, and 86% of people living with HIV are engaged in care. 

The number of new HIV cases in Washington state for the most recent year was 440. Approximately 25% of new HIV cases were classified as late HIV diagnoses. 12,395 people were living with HIV statewide, with 90% engaged in care and 79% with a suppressed viral load. 

Each year in the United States, roughly 40,000 people are diagnosed with HIV. In 2016, there were 39,782 new HIV diagnoses. CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV. Overall, 1 in 99 Americans will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. 

The only way to know if you are infected with HIV is to get tested. The CDC recommends that everyone 13 to 64 years old be tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and people with certain risk factors get tested more often. People with more than one sex partner, people with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and people who inject drugs are likely to be at high risk and should get tested at least once a year.

For more information about testing and counseling, click here