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The number of AIDS cases in Racine has declined since its peak in 2013, but the incident rate still hovers around the national rate and city official want the community to get tested.

The City of Racine HIV arate is 1 per 10,000 in population in 2015. The national rate in 2014 was just over 1 per 10,000 in population. But in Racine County the HIV rate was close to zero per 10,000 in population, according to a press release by the City of Racine Health Department.

Young People Have Higher Risk For Getting HIV

Officials are hosting an HIV testing event in conjunction with World AIDS Day to bring awareness to the issue.

“Individuals should be tested for HIV on a regular basis so that treatment can be started, complications can be avoided and spreading of the disease can be stopped.” the press release reads. “Testing should be done even if no symptoms are present. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 8 people who have HIV in the U.S. are unaware of their diagnosis, which means they could be spreading the disease and not even know it.”

Department officials caution that people between the ages of 15 to 24 are most vulnerable with STDs and HIV. Over half of the 20 million new STD cases happen to people in that population. Also, about 44 percent of people who live with HIV did not know they were infected with the virus.

A person can contract the disease by having direct contact with the infected person’s body fluids. There is no cure for the virus, but treatments can make it undetectable in the patient’s blood.

HIV Testing Event Set

An HIV testing event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the LGBT Center of Southeast Wisconsin,  1456 Junction Ave.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.