VA Recommends All Veterans Be Tested at Least Once for HIV

Content From: Elizabeth Maguire, MSW, Communications Lead for the HIV, Hepatitis, and Related Conditions Programs, VAPublished: June 27, 20192 min read


Cross-posted from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Photo of a man wearing a t-shirt. Get checked for HIV. Take the test. Take control!
Credit: Veterans Health Administration

Today is National HIV Testing Day. Earlier this year, the President announced a plan to end HIV by 2030, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) subsequently released an ambitious plan [PDF, 211KB] to do so. This plan aims to:

  • Diagnose all people with HIV as early as possible after infection
  • Treat them as soon as possible
  • Protect people at risk for HIV
  • Detect and rapidly halt outbreaks
  • Deploy an HIV Health Force to hard-hit areas of the country

As the single largest provider of HIV care in the U.S., VA has a critical role in this effort. VA provides care to nearly 31,000 Veterans with HIV across its health care system and has a well-established National HIV Program. For all Veterans in care, VA will do its part to end HIV in the U.S. by:

  • Offering HIV testing at least once to every Veteran and more frequently to those at risk;
  • Rapidly linking those with newly diagnosed HIV to effective treatment;
  • Expanding timely access to high-quality HIV care and prevention across VA’s integrated network, using face-to-face encounters and telehealth;
  • Offering PrEP, a medication that can prevent HIV, when clinically appropriate

Graphic of numerous population icons

We invite you to watch a video addressExit Disclaimer from Dr. Richard Stone, Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration, as he describes VA’s efforts towards this goal.

This National HIV Testing Day is the perfect time to ask your VA provider about HIV testing and HIV prevention. Together, we can work to end the HIV epidemic in our country.

Visit the VA's HIV website for resources.