National HIV Testing Day falls on June 27th each year and it is a day that celebrates and champions those that want to know their status by getting tested for HIV while highlighting the importance of treatment as prevention for HIV+ individuals. Health organizations throughout the nation have different ways of going about this and Pride Center of Vermont’s MPowerment program, GLAM is no different. This year they have decided to celebrate by rolling out resources and educational material the entire week leading up to the day.
Here is a recap of information ranging from HIV basics to HIV + resources to Biomedical Prevention:
This is where we need to start to help the community gain the tools and knowledge on how to better protect themselves as well as those around them. HIV is so much more than what was glossed over the high school sex-ed classes, here’s an overview of what is important to know.
People are going to do what they want to do regardless of what you tell them. Within harm reduction, we understand that fact and work with individuals, not to try to eliminate or change their habits, but to give them the different pieces of education that will help them reduce and lessen their risky behaviors. This comes in many forms, condoms to syringe access to even a simple conversation. There are many ways to help lower someone’s risk.
Individuals living with HIV have more resources than ever before. Programs dedicated to case management, financial services, medication payment assistance as well as support groups, be it for newly diagnosed or long term survivors. A day in the life of a HIV+ person is something beautiful to behold.
Local Virtual Meetings:
Open POZ Group: 1st Sunday of the Month, 11 AM, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trans/Gender Non-Specific Group: 2nd Sunday of the Month, 10 AM, Contact: email@example.com
Recovery: 2nd Monday of the Month, 6PM, Contact McKune67@gmail.com
Women’s Group: 4th Sunday of the Month, 6PM, Contact: Mckune67@gmail.com
Men’s Group: 4th Monday of the Month, 7PM, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
HIV Testing Resources and Overview
The fact that getting tested for HIV is often coming up in everyday conversation nowadays, speaks on the work that both professionals and the community are putting in to make this process more normalized. At home HIV tests, screenings at colleges, dedicated HIV clinics along with a myriad of other different ways and venues for testing, it’s become easier than ever to know your status.
Medication to treat and prevent HIV has improved leaps and bounds over the years. Starting with antiretrovirals in the 1980’s being a cocktail of pills to the modern day, having them become a singular once a day pill, one that is given to HIV+ individuals to lessen and help maintain a undetectable viral load to one that helps HIV- individuals stay negative.