Tomorrow is National HIV Test Day, and Blacks are still at high risk for contracting the disease. Following are facts to know:
More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 7 (14 percent) are unaware of their infection.
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly young Black/African American MSM, are most seriously affected by HIV.
By race, Blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1,201,100 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 168,300 (14 percent) who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level—particularly among certain groups.
HIV Incidence (new infections): The estimated incidence of HIV has remained stable in recent years, at about 50,000 new HIV infections per year. Within the overall estimates, however, some groups are affected more than others. MSM continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV infection, and among races/ethnicities, African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected.
HIV Diagnoses (new diagnoses, regardless of when infection occurred or stage of disease at diagnosis): In 2013, an estimated 47,352 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States. In that same year, an estimated 26,688 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Overall, an estimated 1.19 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with AIDS.
Deaths: An estimated 13,712 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2012, and approximately 658,507 people in the United States with an AIDS diagnosis have died overalll. The deaths of persons with an AIDS diagnosis can be due to any cause—that is, the death may or may not be related to AIDS.
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested at least once for HIV, and high-risk groups get tested more often.
One of the easiest ways to find a convenient HIV testing site is to use the HIV Testing and Care Services Locator at https://locator.aids.gov/. Just type in your zip code and, within seconds, you will get a list of HIV testing sites near you—including those that offer free HIV testing.
You can also call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) to ask for free testing sites in your area.