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Intimate Partner Violence and HIV

Intimate Partner Violence and HIV

Know Your Risk

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day which is an annual event to promote HIV testing. According to the CDC, intimate partner violence can increase a person’s risk for HIV through forced or coerced sex with an infected partner, limited ability to negotiate safer sex practice and an increase in risk-taking behaviors.

The CDC also reports that nearly 1.1 million people are living with HIV and one in five are unaware of their infection. Many people don’t know their risk of contracting HIV and when people experience violence in their relationships, many people avoid health care settings. One thing you can do is know your own risk. If you are or have been a victim of violence, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has created an HIV Risk Questionnaire.

Where to Get Help

Now that you know your risk, the next step is to get tested. Indiana has recently experienced a large increase in HIV cases and is working to make sure free testing is available. You can find a full list of testing centers across the state here.

In Central Indiana, one of the most convenient programs that also offers follow-up services is the Damien Center. Its HIV testing program includes evenings, weekends, and some Walgreens locations. For more information on its programs and testing locations and times, please visit The Damien Center website.

Take Charge of Your Health

With new treatments for HIV and more accessible testing, there has been never been a better time to know your status. Take advantage of the National Testing Day on June 27th and make your health a priority.