MCC, GLOBAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE, AND HIV/AIDS ADVISORY COUNCIL JOIN TESTING CAMPAIGN
MCC has partnered with the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) to promote the USA’s first-ever National HIV Testing Week. It begins Saturday, June 21 and runs through June 27. The theme is “Talk HIV, Test HIV, Treat HIV.” The partnership seeks to increase how many people know their HIV status.
Culminating in National HIV Testing Day (Friday, June 27), the campaign encourages everyone, including churches, to reach out to health providers and community organizations to plan and expand events to raise awareness, provide testing, and offer supportive services that encourage people to get into care. Events and testing sites are being hosted around the nation, and they include government offices, doctor’s offices, health clinics, bathhouses, bars, and chemical dependency treatment facilities, among others. Check out www.nhtwus.org to find a testing site near you or your church.
Here are some actions you can take to engage the campaign:
- Share your story/program about what you and your church are doing to promote testing, treatment, and/or care. Share them here.
- Download, share, and promote the coalition’s Testing Week resources.
- If your congregation or ministry group does not currently have an HIV/AIDS program in place, consider using this year’s Testing Week to plan the launching of one. Resources on how to start that discussion can be found here.
Knowing one’s status is a crucial first step in getting people into systems of treatment and care. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Treatment Cascade analysis shows that the path to health and viral suppression starts with diagnosis. If we can get people tested, they will know their status. If they know their status, we can link them to systems of care. If we can link them to care, we can support them so that they stay in care. If we can get them to stay in care, we can support an appropriate antiretroviral therapy program. And if we can keep them on their medication and accessing other supportive services, we can keep them alive and thriving. It all starts with testing. As people of faith, we are called to do this work.
Talk HIV, Test HIV, Treat HIV