Do you know your status?
June 27, 2015
Today is National HIV Testing Day! Use this opportunity to get the facts, get tested, and take control of your health. Knowing your status is an important step to taking care of yourself and getting connected to life-saving healthcare.
In the United States, one in eight people living with HIV don’t know their status. It is essential to know your status AND get re-tested any time you engage in higher-risk behaviors.
The Positively Safe program at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) recognizes National HIV Testing Day and encourages all people to get tested. Through Positively Safe, we shine a light on the unique challenges that women and survivors of domestic violence face in taking control of their health.
With a consistent regimen of medication and support from healthcare providers, we know that people can live healthy lives with HIV. However, less than half of women diagnosed with HIV are receiving care, causing unnecessary illness and, in some cases, early death. Furthermore, women living with HIV who have experienced abuse are less likely to maintain medical care, often as a result of the barriers abusive partners create to accessing healthcare, medication, support, and other life-saving services.
Domestic violence disproportionately impacts the health and well-being of women. In fact, victims of domestic violence are four times more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, than the general population.
On the flip side, when we think about the challenges of women living with HIV, we rarely consider how often women experience abuse after being diagnosed. For women living with HIV, the incidence of intimate partner violence is almost two times higher than the national rate. These staggering statistics underscore the critical need to examine the ways in which women and girls’ health and well-being are simultaneously impacted by domestic violence and HIV.
The Positively Safe program urges domestic violence and HIV service providers – as well as our communities at large – to learn more about this intersection. Here are some ways to learn more about what each of us can do to support survivors of domestic violence and individuals living with HIV:
- NNEDV’s Positively Safe Resource Toolkit to access facts sheets, handouts, & more.
- Visit the Creating A Culture of Acceptance in DV Shelters for Women living with HIV eLearning module housed in the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence’s Online Resource Center.
- Listen to this Blog Talk Radio by the National Latin@ Network on Responding to HIV/AIDS in the Context of Violence against Latinas.
- Read the LGBTQ and HIV-affected Hate Violence report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
- Read The Intersection Between HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Women report from the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Gender-Based Violence.
- Explore the vast collection of health resources at the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
Most importantly – get tested today and re-tested ANY day!