National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. (MGN Online)

Thursday is National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.

The observance provides an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers, community members, health professionals and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective preventative HIV vaccine.

It's also a day to educate communities all across the nation about preventative HIV vaccine research.

In the meantime, getting tested is important and something that everyone should consider.

"The symptoms are not clear in the beginning and so it can take even years until symptoms become available that's why annual testing is recommended for persons who are at risk for HIV," said TSU Professor Stephanie Powelson. "When someone acquires HIV they have more viruses early on and so you're more likely to transmit. So one in eight people who have HIV don't know it and can be transmitting it to somebody else."

Truman State University offers free testing every spring. There are many other locations you can get tested. To see this list, click here.

For more information on HIV basics and prevention, visit the CDC.

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