• Getting tested for HIV is one of the ways to prevent the spread of the virus to others.

Getting tested for HIV is one of the ways to prevent the spread of the virus to others. (Photo : Reuters)

Saturday was National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) in the United States, with various centers throughout the country providing free tests. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that over 1.2 people in the U.S. over 12 years old suffer from the sexually transmitted disease (STD), and one-eighth of human immunodeficiency virus  (HIV) carriers have not been diagnosed. HIV-AIDS results from a microbe that attacks the immune system, allowing infections and cancers to thrive.    

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Based on CDC reports, over 168,000 people in the U.S. have acquired HIV, but have not been diagnosed. That is up to one-eighth of all cases.

An HIV test takes as little as one minute to complete. It then often provides instant results.

Cody Walker, program manager of an HIV-AIDS mobile testing unit in Mississippi, shared that rates of the infectious disease are increasing and funding is decreasing, according to WMC Action News. Thus, getting tested is critical.  

A new CDC study determined how many U.S. residents have HIV, according to Pioneer News. It used a "back-calculation mode."

The organization reported that the figures include 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (D.C.). It predicts that this year's numbers will show a jump from 85 percent in 2010, to its target rate of 90 percent in 2015.  

Dr. Cameron Wolfe of the Duke University Medical Center also noted that today's HIV drugs are safer and more effective than the medications available 15 years ago.  Most patients daily take one pill with no side effects.

This year marked the U.S.'s first National HIV Testing Day.