President Barack Obama on Saturday urged his fellow Americans to get tested for HIV in an effort to reduce transmission of the virus that causes AIDS.
"On this 14th commemoration of National HIV Testing Day, I urge Americans to take control of their own health -- and protect those they love -- by getting tested for HIV and working to reduce HIV transmission," Obama said in a statement.
"While its impacts are not evenly spread -- infection rates are particularly high among gay and bisexual men, African Americans and Latinos -- when one of our fellow citizens becomes infected with HIV every nine-and-a-half minutes, the epidemic affects all Americans," he said.
Obama noted that of the estimated 1.15 million people infected with HIV in the United States, more than 230,000 -- one in five -- do not know they are infected.
The US president last month unveiled a plan to commit 63 billion dollars over six years to battle chronic global health crises, including AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, a continuation of a landmark initiative launched by his predecessor George W. Bush.