BPHC Recognizes National HIV Testing Day and Health Center Program Impact on HIV Testing

Content From: James Macrae, MA, MPP, Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: June 18, 20243 min read



The Health Center Program, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), plays a critical role in the efforts to end the HIV epidemic by providing comprehensive, accessible, and affordable health care to medically underserved populations. Community Health Centers are at the forefront of this initiative, offering vital services including HIV screening and testing, and PrEP administration. In recognition of the 2024 theme for National HIV Testing Day, “Level-up your self-love: check your status,” BPHC emphasizes valuing oneself, showing yourself compassion and respect, and practicing self-love by knowing your HIV status to help you make the best possible choices for your health.

Since 2020, BPHC has appropriated approximately $589 million to support the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. In the last two years, BPHC awarded $157 million in supplemental resources under the Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) funding opportunity to 411 health centers in counties, territories, and states prioritized for phase 1 of EHE. This funding supports health centers with providing HIV testing and prevention services, delivering HIV care and treatment where appropriate, and responding quickly to HIV cluster detection efforts. By providing health centers with funding for outreach and partnerships to increase HIV testing, expand access to and use of PrEP, and link individuals who test positive for HIV to care and treatment coordination, health centers are able to significantly decrease the risk of HIV transmission within their communities

Health centers are a key point of entry for HIV prevention services and the diagnosis of HIV. In 2022, health centers:

  • provided nearly 3.5 million HIV tests, more than half of them at PCHP funded health centers.
  • provided pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) management services to nearly 85,000 patients.
  • linked 83% of newly diagnosed patients to care within 30 days.
  • treated 200,000 patients diagnosed with HIV.

Health Centers are uniquely positioned to increase access to HIV screening and testing. Health centers offer widespread availability to HIV services to populations that might otherwise lack access to health care. Many health centers also offer extended hours and mobile testing units providing flexibility and access to individuals who may not be able to visit during regular hours. By accommodating the diverse needs of their patients, health centers can provide testing services to a larger population and decrease transmission within their communities. Health centers allow affordability of care by offering services on an income-based sliding fee scale, further reducing barriers to access for HIV prevention and treatment services. Health centers also employ culturally and linguistically competent staff to help reduce stigma around HIV diagnosis and treatment and to encourage more individuals to seek HIV testing services.

To locate a community health center near you to get an HIV test, PrEP, or other services, visit our Find A Health Center page.