Almost one-million people in the U.S. are infected with HIV, but a national effort is trying to prevent any more from getting infected.
In Bay County, there are about 400 to 600 people who are infected with HIV/AIDS.
National HIV Testing Day is geared to encourage people that it's better to know.
At BASIC of Northwest Florida, Frank Dean, the executive director says anyone can get tested anonymously.
"They will be counseled one on one, just the individual and the counselor. There's no one ever allowed in the room with them."
It's estimated that about half of those infected in Bay County don't even know.
According to the Centers for Disease Control African Americans are at the highest risk, making up more than half of all new HIV infections each year.
Dean says black women are the target of a new local program, funded by the CDC.
"The program is called Sister to Sister and it’s five two-hour sessions of working with the women in a very small group settings. Being very frank and honest about the disease, how it's transmitted, how they can protect themselves."
Dean says it's all about protecting yourself and those you love. And that's why it's ok to get tested.
BASIC offers testing during selected hours during the week.
For more information call BASIC at 785-1088. The Bay County Health Department also offers HIV/AIDS testing Monday through Friday.
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Source: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/hivinf.htm (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Fact Sheet)