Kentucky ranks 19th in the country for the number of people who have the HIV infection that leads to AIDS. “Health officials say that at least one new HIV infection is discovered each day in Kentucky,” Mary Meehan of Lexington Herald-Leader recently reported. National HIV Testing Day was founded by the National Association of People Living with AIDS in 1995. To find a testing site, click here.
Kentuckians are being encouraged to find out their HIV status on Monday, June 27, National HIV Testing Day.
About 1,700 Kentuckians were diagnosed with HIV between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2009. About 1 in 3 Kentucky adults under the age of 65 have been screened for HIV, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky notes. Christian, Hopkins and McLean counties have the highest rate of HIV testing, with 45 percent of adults being tested. Montgomery County has the lowest rate at 24 percent. For more county-specific information, click here.
The earlier that HIV is discovered, the better the treatment works, but early detection is not commonplace in Kentucky. By the time they are tested for HIV, 30 percent of Kentuckians already have full-blown AIDS. Though at one time 100 percent of Kentuckians infected with HIV died within five years, now 82 percent are alive after the same time period.