A disproportionately high number of transgender individuals are HIV-positive, and there’s a greater number that don’t know their status. It can be difficult to seek out HIV testing when you’re afraid of discrimination from medical professionals based on your transgender status. However, for your safety, your health and your loved ones, you need to get tested!
Why a National Transgender HIV Testing Day?
HIV testing is invaluable for everyone, regardless of their lifestyle or orientation. It can only benefit you to know your HIV status. Nearly 1 in 5 people don’t know they’re HIV-positive and that can lead to higher rates of infection.
Transgender individuals have a higher rate of HIV than the general population; a rate that’s four times higher. African American transgender people have an even higher rate; one in four lives with HIV. With antiretroviral therapy available, there’s no reason to risk your health or that of your loved ones by remaining ignorant of your HIV status.
Drawing attention to the issue is the only way to gain public recognition of the very real threat transgender people live under and to encourage HIV testing for everyone, especially people at risk of infection. Providing safe, free and non-discriminatory testing is one way that we can improve the rate of treatment and reduce the spread of infection.
Do I Need to Be Transgender to Get Tested?
Absolutely not! However, transgender people face higher risk of HIV and may not feel comfortable asking their general practitioner for an HIV test. By creating a day specifically aimed at transgender people to raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing, perhaps we can increase the number of people who know their status.