OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health is encouraging those who may need testing for HIV to seek it out.
December 1 is World AIDS Day and health professionals are recommending testing for those who may be at risk of HIV.
HIV is the virus that can cause Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The CDC encourages everyone ages 13-64 to get testing at least once in their lifetime.
The CDC also recommends people who partake in activities that increase their risk of HIV to be tested once a year.
According to the OSDH, Oklahoma is one of seven states that has been noticed with the highest rural burden of HIV. The other six states are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina.
“HIV can affect anyone,” said William Andrews, public information officer for the Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service. “Stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS can lead to a delay in people seeking testing and treatment. But the quicker we are able to get individuals tested, the quicker we can get them connected to treatment, which is critical.”