With more than 95-hundred Mississippians living with HIV, health leaders are sending out a message.
To stress the importance of getting tested, the state health department is recognizing today as national HIV testing day. It's an annual event encouraging people to know their status and prevent the spread of the disease.
In Mississippi, more than half of those reported cases are people between the ages of 25 to 44. African Americans make up about 73 percent of all cases in the state.
"Unless people are tested, they wouldn't know whether or not they had HIV infection to begin with" said Dr. Nicholas Mosca, Director of STD/HIV for the Mississippi Department of Health. "So, if they're sexually active, anyone who's not in a monogamous long term relationship could be at risk for infections. So, it's important to get tested on a regular basis.
Free, confidential testing is offered at county health departments across the state.