Increasing Awareness on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Let’s get tested.

If you've done anything that puts you at risk of infection, getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected with HIV. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms at all for 10 years or more, and up to one in five people with HIV don't even know that they are infected, so testing is very important. Planned Parenthood offers low-cost STI testing throughout the year, and our doors are open to everyone. Each year, Planned Parenthood health centers provide nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and provide a range of safer sex options, including condoms.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, insurance plans must cover STI testing, including HIV screening and counseling for free — without a copay. Approximately nine million Latinos are newly eligible for more affordable insurance under the health care law, and can enroll today.

There is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, but treatment is available, and people are able to manage this illness and still live happy, fulfilling lives. HIV may have once been seen as a death sentence, yet now we know that it is almost fully preventable, and with proper management, the chance of a person developing AIDS is significantly lower than in the past. With education, safer sex, and regular testing for HIV, we can make a big difference in our own lives, and our communities.

For more information about HIV/AIDS, or to locate a health center near you, visit and to learn about coverage and what health insurance programs under Obamacare may be right for you, visit or for Spanish

Vanessa Gonzalez-Plumhoff is the Director of Latino Leadership and Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.