Tuesday, April 18, marks National Transgender HIV Testing Day (NTHTD) 2017, which is organized by the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, part of the University of California, San Francisco. The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of routine HIV testing, prevention and care among transgender people.

The center hosts a live #NTHTD Facebook kickoff at 3 p.m. ET, April 18. Learn more about that on the Facebook page here. And download NTHTD tool kits and campaign materials here.

As part of NTHTD, the center also posted a video message (below) from Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 75-year-old Black transgender activist and the subject of the documentary film Major! The movie is being screened at NTHTD events across the country. You can learn more about it—including how to organize free screenings in your community—here.

Routine HIV testing and awareness are important to the health of transgender people because the population—particularly transgender women of color—is at high risk of the virus. (Data on transgender men and HIV is lacking because fewer studies have examined this population.) According to statistics found on the center’s website:

  • Globally, transgender women are nearly 50 percent more likely to be living with HIV than the general population.

  • HIV prevalence among African-American transgender women is estimated to be 56 percent compared with a prevalence among white trans women of 17 percent.

  • In the United States, it is estimated that about 1.4 million adults identify as transgender.