NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC - (WECT) - Thursday was National Black HIV/Aids Awareness Day and across the country, many urged everyone to get tested. In New Hanover County, experts say its especially important.
Victoria Oxendine, who works at NHRMC, says the national average of people who have HIV and don't know it is about 21 percent, but in New Hanover County that number is higher, it's somewhere between 24 and 28 percent.
She says even though HIV isn't really talked about, it's a growing concern. She says the medical center has seen an influx of cases this month. Oxendine says if HIV is caught early enough, medications can help.
"If someone knows they are HIV infected and they start on medications, the chance of transmission to someone else reduces by 96 percent," said Oxendine. "That's an amazing statistic, because of the medications we have, we can keep patents healthier for a longer period of time."
She says 1.4 million people are living with HIV in the US.
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