Many with HIV don't know it

In 2006, nearly 25 percent of the 60,000-plus Americans who had newly contracted the HIV virus were not aware of it, and thus weren't getting treatment or protecting their sexual partners. Today it's 21 percent -- an improvement, but nowhere near enough, said speakers at an HIV/AIDS conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

''It's crucial to understand how important routine HIV testing is at every level of American society so everyone knows their status; it's the first step in controlling the HIV epidemic,'' said Dr. Veronica Miller, executive director of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research.

In Florida, new testing programs are helping, but also are not enough, state health officials say.

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