Yesterday was America’s 15th annual National HIV Testing Day, which was initiated by the National Association of People with AIDS and supported by the Centre for Disease Control.

The purpose of the event is to help increases awareness of HIV and AIDS, and the day helps promote early diagnosis and testing for HIV through safe and effective methods.

According to recent studies conducted by the CDC, around one-fourth of the estimated one million people living with HIV in the United States are unaware that they are infected with the disease and are at risk of transmitting the virus to others.

HIV and AIDS prevention advocates encourage routine testing for HIV/AIDS and help establish education programmes that teach young people about risky behaviours and methods to prevent contracting the virus.

The day has become a way for the advocate groups to get early detection and diagnosis in a private and safe environment to those who are infected.

In 2003 the CDC announced a new initiative, aimed at reducing barriers to early diagnosis of HIV infection and increasing access of persons infected with HIV to medical care and prevention services

People who have early detection through various new testing measures, such as rapid mobile units, can begin treatment at an early stage of infection and take steps to prevent transmitting HIV to others.

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