Maine CDC Press Release

November 30, 2018

Maine CDC Encourages People to Know Their Status on 30th Annual World AIDS Day

AUGUSTA - December 1, 2018 marks the 30th annual celebration of World Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Day. On this important day, agencies, governments, and communities across the world come together each year in remembrance of lives lost to AIDS or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and to promote awareness and education of the disease.

There are currently 37 million people diagnosed with HIV worldwide, with an estimated 1,800 living in Maine. Not included in this, however, are the one in seven people living with HIV who do not know their status. In line with this year's theme of "Know Your Status," the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is encouraging individuals who are unaware of their HIV status to get tested.

HIV care and prevention have changed dramatically since the discovery of the virus in 1984. Advances in antiretroviral therapy (ART) have enabled people living with HIV to have long, healthy, and fulfilling lives. HIV patients who take ART consistently and correctly each day can have an undetectable HIV viral load and achieve what is called "viral suppression." Research studies have shown that virally suppressed individuals do not sexually transmit HIV. In light of this pivotal development, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) began their 2017 campaign Undetectable = Untransmittable to publicize the essential role of ART treatment for HIV prevention.

"While HIV does not often make headlines in 2018, it still impacts people across Maine," said Dr. Bruce Bates, Director of Maine CDC. "I encourage people to talk with their healthcare providers about their risks for HIV and get tested to know their status."

Visit gettested.cdc.gov to find HIV testing locations. Maine CDC's HIV Prevention Program also funds free HIV testing for under and uninsured individuals at the following locations:

  • Frannie Peabody Center: (207) 774-6877
  • The India Street Public Health Center: (207) 874-8446
  • Maine Family Planning: (207) 922-3222

For more information:

  • Maine CDC 24-hr Disease Reporting & Consultation Line. 1-800-821-5821
  • US CDC HIV/AIDS Information - www.cdc.gov/hiv/