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VA National HIV Testing Campaign

for Health Care Providers

National HIV Testing Campaign

Campaign Description

The VHA is the largest single provider of HIV care in the United States, providing care for more than 26,000 Veterans with HIV in 2013. Yet, only 30% of Veterans have ever been tested for HIV in the VHA system. We are encouraging every Veteran to get tested for HIV at least once. Unfortunately, too many Americans who are infected with HIV learn about their positive status late into the course of their disease. The Office of Public Health encourages all providers, especially those in primary care, mental health, homeless programs, and substance-use treatment clinics, to offer routine HIV testing to all patients in order to diagnose HIV infection at the earliest possible stage.

To help promote early diagnosis of HIV and to simplify the process, the VHA revised its policies on HIV testing and informed consent. As of August 17, 2009, written informed consent is no longer required for HIV testing. Instead, Veterans are able to provide verbal consent for voluntary HIV testing. Also, lengthy pre/post-test counseling is no longer required; rather, providers must give patients written materials on HIV. Another important change is that HIV testing is no longer limited to only those Veterans who identify risk factors or risky behaviors. In line with current Federal public health recommendations, voluntary HIV testing is now recommended as a part of routine medical care for all Veterans. These policy changes have a common goal: to diagnose infection as soon as possible so that Veterans can receive state-of-the-art care and remain healthy for many years to come.

Campaign Resources

Fact Sheets, Posters, and More
Get Checked Veteran Fact SheetFact Sheet

Audience: Veterans
2 pages, 8.5" x 11"


Get Checked Provider Fact SheetFact Sheet

Audience: Providers
1 page, 8.5" x 11"


Get Checked Poster for VeteransPoster

Audience: Veterans
8.5" x 11"


HIV Testing Day tent cardTent Card

Audience: Providers


Patient Information on HIV Testing

Patient's Guide to HIV TestingPatient's Guide to HIV Testing

Audience: Veterans
8 pages, 4" x 9," folded; updated April 2014


VA HIV Testing Policies

As of August 17, 2009, written (signature) consent is no longer required for HIV testing in the VHA. Instead, patients will provide verbal informed consent prior to HIV testing, which must be documented in the patient's medical record. Furthermore, scripted pre-test and post-test counseling are no longer mandated, nor is it a VA requirement that written educational material on HIV be provided to a patient at the time of consent. Learn more about these changes in policy.Link will take you to our HIV/AIDS internet site