CDC, Partners Mark National HIV Testing Day


The theme of this year’s National HIV Testing Day encourages individuals to self-test for HIV as a means of demonstrating their compassion for themselves.

June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day: a day for health care providers, advocacy organizations, and the public to emphasize the importance of HIV testing and of knowing your HIV status. The theme of this year’s National HIV Testing Day is Level up your self-love: check your status, which encourages individuals to get tested as a means to take charge of our individual health and wellness.1

Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an estimated 12% decrease in HIV infections, which the CDC attributes to HIV testing programs.2 But despite this increase, disparities exist: Black and African American individuals represent just 12% of the US population, but disproportionately make up 40% of the estimated 12 million Americans living with HIV.

National HIV Testing Day encourages individuals to self-test for HIV as a means of demonstrating their compassion for themselves. | Image credit: ReotPixel -

National HIV Testing Day encourages individuals to self-test for HIV as a means of demonstrating their compassion for themselves. | Image credit: ReotPixel -

In March 2023, the CDC, along with Emory University, Building Healthy Online Communities, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, and OraSure Technologies, among others, launched TogetherTake Me Home, a nationwide program that distributes free HIV self-tests to consumers by mail.1 Between March 14, 2023, and March 13, 2024, the program distributed approximately 440,000 HIV self-tests to more than 219,000 Americans, with a focus on 3 audiences disproportionately affected by HIV: gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, transgender women of any race, and cisgender Black women. Results of a post-order questionnaire showed that 24% of these individuals had never previously tested for HIV.

READ MORE: Digital health Tools Could Increase PrEP Uptake Among Young Individuals At-Risk for HIV

“Testing is critical to stemming the spread of HIV and our OraQuick HIV Self-Test has empowered millions of people around the world to learn their HIV status, get connected to care, and subsequently live healthier lives,” said Carrie Eglinton Manner, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies.3 “We have a longstanding history of empowering those at risk of contracting HIV through providing information about their health and are proud of our partnerships with community organizations across the country that promote HIV testing, especially for those communities who need it most.”

The ultimate goal of Together Take Me Home is to distribute 1 million free HIV test kits over the next 5 years.

A recent study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report4 highlighted additional positive outcomes associated with the Together Take Me Home Program. Among participants who initiated a follow-up survey:

  • 88.3% used an HIV self-test themselves;
  • 27.1% gave away an HIV self-test;
  • 11.7% accessed additional preventive services; and
  • 1.9% reported a new positive HIV self-test result.

These results, study authors noted, demonstrate the importance of awareness among clinicians, community orgniazations, and public health officials around HIV self-test programs, as well as the importance of initating follow-up services for those who report positive or negative HIV self-test results.

The OraQuick HIV Self-Test has been available since 2012. OraSure recently worked with the FDA to launch an “updated and enhanced version” of the test, which is delivering “meaningful sustainability improvements,” such as reduced packaging, increasing shipping efficiency, and lower transportation-associated emissions; the updated packaging now includes “even more robust educational material and linkage to care information, giving individuals they information that they can use to make informed decisions, regardless of the test result.”

In addition to providing HIV self-tests, Together Take Me Home shares resources to help individuals find free or low-cost local HIV testing.

For more information on National HIV Testing Day, visit the CDC’s National HIV Testing Day hub online.

READ MORE: HIV Resource Center

  1. National HIV Testing Day – 2024. CDC. June 24, 2024. Accessed June 27, 2024.
  2. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence. CDC. May 21, 2024. Accessed June 27, 2024.
  3. OraSure Technologies supports National HIV Testing Day. News release. OraSure Technologies. June 27, 2024. Accessed June 27, 2024.
  4. Sanchez T, MacGowan RJ, Hecht J, et al. Findings from the first year of a federally funded, direct-to-consumer HIV self-test distribution program – United States, March 2023-March 2024. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2024;73(24):558-564. doi:10.15585/
Related Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.