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Know your status on National HIV Testing Day

President Obama's administration announced it would no longer defend DOMA in court

Despite progress in testing and HIV/AIDS awareness, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says that a quarter of a million people have HIV in the United States and don't even know it. Today marks National HIV Testing Day and the CDC, health advocates and even President Barack Obama are urging every American, regardless of risk factor, to get tested for the disease.

“National HIV Testing Day reminds each of us to do our part in fighting HIV/AIDS and get tested. It has been thirty years since we witnessed the emergence of HIV, an illness from which roughly 600,000 Americans have died and with which more than one million Americans live,” President Obama said in a statement released today.

“After years of critical investments in research, prevention and care, we now have the tools to stem the spread of the disease and extend the lives of those Americans living with HIV,” he added.

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Remembering National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Dr. Keith Fenton of the CDC

African Americans are more likely than any other group in the U.S. to contract the HIV virus although they represent a fraction of the nation's population, according to a recent report by the Centers Disease for Control & Prevention.

"Blacks make up just 14 percent of the U.S. population, yet account for almost half of those living and dying with HIV and AIDS in this country," according to the CDC.

Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Other staggering statistics from the CDC:

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CDC says HIV treatment drugs can aid disease prevention

The Centers for Disease Control announced today that drugs used to treat HIV infections provide additional protection against initial exposure for gay and bisexual men. According to a CDC press release, a National Institutes of Health study indicates an average of 44 percent additional protection for those who do not have HIV and take the once-daily pill Truvada.

The approach is called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.

“These results represent a major advance in HIV prevention research. For the first time, we have evidence that a daily pill used to treat HIV is partially effective for preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men at high risk for infection, when combined with other prevention strategies,” Dr. Kevin Fenton, M.D., Director, CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention said.