LOS ANGELES - World Aids Day 2017 was commemorated across Los Angeles by medical clinics offering free testing, and activists honoring lives lost to the disease.
"We have about 1.2 million people in the US who are HIV positive and about one in five don't know their diagnosis, so we need to find them," said Dr. Hilda Sandoval with AltaMed.
A new set of goals was introduced by the L.A. County Department of Public Health and Commission on HIV. The focus: ending the HIV epidemic.
"Reduce the number of HIV infections to no more than 500 per year by 2022. Increase the proportion of people living with HIV who know of their HIV status," said Mario Perez, the Director of the L.A. County Division of HIV and STD Programs.
Outside her East L.A. HIV clinic, Sandoval said World Aids Day is about magnifying the attention to testing.
AltaMed's mobile testing unit was open for business.
"Latinos continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. In L.A. County alone, we are one of the greatest at risk because new infections are not necessarily being identified early," said Sandoval.
AltaMed operates four HIV-specific clinics in L.A. County and one in Orange County. They offer free testing, treatment and prevention services five days a week.