While HIV testing and awareness are recognized nationally on a single day in June, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs has extended this day into a full week to further increase HIV testing throughout the VA health care system.

Kicking off on June 27, the VA will provide patients living with HIV with the most current information on the virus and provide them with information on how they can lead longer, healthier lives. In addition to testing for HIV, the VA will also inform people how to prevent it.

According to the VA, public health experts and health care providers now recommend that all adults get tested for HIV as part of their routine medical care. While some may believe they are not at risk for HIV infection, experts believe that everyone who is sexually active should get tested to slow the disease’s spread.

The VA Maryland Health Care Systems provides care for 1,000 veteran patients, and testing is available daily through primary health care providers.

If you are a veteran enrolled in the VA Maryland Health Care System and want to schedule an appointment for testing, call 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7333. For enrollment in VA Health Care, call 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7324.