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3,200 San Diegans are HIV-positive and don't know it

SAN DIEGO -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent more than a quarter of the new HIV infections each year and 60 percent of them are unaware they are infected.

In San Diego County, there are nearly 3,200 people who are HIV-positive and not aware of their status, according to HHSA estimates.

These sobering statistics are a startling reminder that it’s important to know and disclose your HIV status.

“Getting tested is extremely important because one in seven people who are infected with HIV are not aware of it,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “The earlier we can detect HIV, the more treatment options there are.”

Getting tested is easy to do. You can ask your doctor to perform the HIV test during a routine physical exam or you can go to a County STD clinic and have it done there. In most circumstances, you will generally have the results in 20 minutes or less.

Testing people for HIV is part of Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative to improve the health and well-being of local residents.

Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, about 15,000 San Diego County residents have been diagnosed with AIDS and 7,221 are currently living with the disease. Furthermore, since 2006, more than 5,400 residents have been diagnosed with HIV disease.

“Advances in medication and treatment have helped individuals with AIDS to live longer, healthier lives,” Loose said.

To learn more about HIV and AIDS and testing locations, click HERE.