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MDHHS recognizes World AIDS Day, urges residents to get tested for HIV

Posted at 9:40 AM, Dec 01, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wants to bring attention to World AIDS Day to reflect upon and highlight the worldwide response to the continuing HIV epidemic.

2021 marked 40 years since the first cases of HIV were reported in the United States.

As part of World AIDS Day, MDHHS is encouraging Michiganders to get tested to know their HIV status, according to a news release Wednesday.

Health officials estimate 1.2 million Americans live with HIV and 13% of those people do not know their status.

Early detection, intervention and treatment can prevent serious illness that can occur when HIV is left untreated; these steps can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 93%, MDHHS said.

“Reaching people living with HIV who do not know their status and ensuring that they are tested and then linked to quality care and prevention services is essential to ensuring they can lead healthy and productive lives,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at MDHHS. “It is also essential we take proactive measures to ensure that are moving towards a future where we can end the HIV epidemic.”

MDHHS is supporting efforts to increase HIV testing, connect people to quality health care and increase the use of prevention strategies like Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

Residents can find testing locations here.

RELATED: Kent County Health Department offers free HIV testing for World AIDS Day