SAN DIEGO (CNS) - In accordance with National HIV Testing Day, health officials in San Diego County Wednesday encouraged residents to get tested for the virus.
One in 10 people infected with HIV in the county are not aware, according to officials, which means they could infect others and not seek treatment to stay healthy.
Doctors can perform HIV tests during routine physical exams. Residents can also visit an STD clinic. In most circumstances, results come in 20 minutes or less.
"Every week, eight people are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in San Diego. Everyone 18 and over should get tested, whether they think they are at risk or not," said Patrick Loose, chief of the county Health and Human Services Agency's HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch.
Officials also recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is usually a daily medication taken to protect against exposure to the virus via sex or intravenous drug use. Prophylaxis can be prescribed by a doctor or health care provider.
About 15,000 county residents have been diagnosed with AIDS since the disease's early 1980s epidemic, according to the county. Since 2006, more than 5,400 residents have been diagnosed with HIV.