World AIDS Day Is Dec. 1. Here’s Where to Get Tested for Free

Hands holding a red AIDS ribbon for World AIDS Day.
burakkarademir/ Getty Images

The first day of December means the holiday spirit is in full swing, but it’s also time for a more sobering reflection.

That’s because it’s the 30th observance of World AIDS Day, the day set aside by the U.K.’s National AIDS Trust for all of us to show our support, awareness and respect to those affected by the disease — and to unite in our fight against it.

And while wearing red or donating some of your hoarded pennies is a great start, the best way to stop HIV — and the spread of STDs in general — is to get tested.

Yes, that means you, even if you think you’re not at risk.

How to Find Free STD Testing in Your Area

To combat this important public health issue, many social service providers offer free or affordable testing for HIV, hepatitis and other STDs.

To find testing centers near you, plug your zip code into this free tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Once the map of your area populates, you can filter for free HIV tests under the “HIV Tests” tab and see the full list of each provider’s offerings.

And if you have insurance, check with your primary care doctor about getting tested. Under the Affordable Care Act, your insurance likely covers HIV testing as well as tests for other diseases.

As nerve-wracking as it can be to wait for those results, knowing for sure is empowering and potentially lifesaving, whether you’re positive or not.

On World AIDS Day, and every day, we owe that knowledge to ourselves… and to one another.

Jamie Cattanach’s writing has been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.


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