Officials with the state Division of Public Health are urging the public to get tested for HIV.
An estimated 40-thousand Americans have HIV, and a quarter of them don't even know it. Similar figures exist in Wisconsin, with about 8,000 people believed to be living with HIV in the state and nearly 2,000 unaware they're infected.
Division of Public Health HIV-AIDS program director Jim Vergeront says residents across the state should consider getting tested, even if they don't think they're at risk for contracting HIV. He says testing is a critical step to reducing infections, because those who are unaware they have HIV are more likely to pass it on.
Testing is available through hospitals, local health departments, and many non-profit groups. Vergeront says HIV testing should be done for everyone, not just among high-risk groups. Testing is recommended as part of a normal course of care for anyone between the ages of 13 and 64. Those at high risk are also urged to get a test done annually.
Today is National HIV testing day. It's meant to highlight the positive step that getting tested can for your own health and your partner's.