Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: National HIV Testing Day


June 27, 2018 is National HIV Testing day. It’s meant to be a day to raise awareness about the importance of getting tested for the disease. 

“It’s critically important that everyone get tested at least once after the age of 15,” noted Dr. Keri Hall, and infectious disease doctor with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.  

Dr. Hall says, around the country, roughly 15% of people with HIV don’t even know they have it.  However, that population of people is the most dangerous when it comes to spreading the disease. 

“Many people who have HIV, in fact most people, have no symptoms whatsoever,” said Dr. Hall.  “Down the road they can become extremely ill and they can transmit the disease to other people.”

Any doctor can order an HIV test for you.  Additionally, there’s good news when it comes to treatment options.  Due to research over the years options have drastically improved for patients who do test positive. 

“These days, when I have patients with HIV, I tell them as long as you take your medicine you should live a long and healthy life and die in old age of something everyone else might die of,” noted Dr. Hall. 
If left untreated for several years, HIV will eventually turn into AIDS.  So, paying attention, and working towards early detection, is key. 

“It’s here to stay for now and people need to be aware of it,” said Dr. Hall. 

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital