East Los High Star, Tracy Perez Records PSA to Encourage Testing
New York, NY – In recognition of National HIV Testing Day (June 27), Planned Parenthood Federation of America is encouraging men, women and young people to get tested for HIV. The national day encourages communities to promote healthy lifestyles through early detection and testing.
“More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, yet almost one in six don’t know their status,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “That’s why National HIV Testing Day is so important – it reminds us that we can’t tell by looking at someone if they have HIV, the only way to know is to get tested. Planned Parenthood works in communities every day to provide affordable, convenient HIV testing for all. In 2012, our health centers nationwide provided 700,000 HIV tests. We believe that a healthy community starts with knowing your status. Today serves as but a catalyst in our ongoing efforts to become the healthiest generation.”
To raise awareness nationwide and encourage people to get tested, Planned Parenthood has enlisted the help of Hulu's East Los High actor Tracy Perez to record two public service announcements (PSAs), in English and Spanish.
Planned Parenthood has also developed a series of e-cards to be shared on social media platforms and through e-mail to prompt social media users to encourage their friends to get tested. The e-cards can be accessed via Planned Parenthood’s tumblr page.
“It was important to me to get involved and help spread the word on National HIV Testing Day,” said Tracy Perez, actor and star of East Los High. “When young people are so disproportionately affected I feel that it’s all of our obligation to empower each other to take action and get tested in order to stay healthy.”
HIV/AIDS is particularly common in the southern states of the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults and adolescents in the South are disproportionately infected with HIV, especially in states like Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Nationwide, men who have sex with men, African Americans, and Latinos continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, reinforcing the need for proactive testing.
“At Planned Parenthood, we’re committed to providing high-quality and affordable health care to all. HIV testing and information are just one important piece in providing first-in-class care to everyone who visits our health centers,” said Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “National HIV Testing Day serves as a strong reminder of one of the steps to help reduce the spread of HIV and build a healthier future together.”
Today, testing for HIV has become easier and more convenient:
- HIV testing can be super quick, simple, and painless. Rapid HIV tests get you results in about 20 minutes, often with just a cheek swab.
- Not all medical checkups include routine HIV testing — so unless you ask to be tested, you should not assume you have been.
- Open communication with your partner is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of HIV. You can take care of yourself and your partner by getting tested before you start having sex.
Planned Parenthood believes that everyone deserves access to affordable, quality health care, and is here to help you stay safe and healthy. To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you, or to find more information about HIV, visit plannedparenthood.org.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
June 25, 2014