During the last three years a campaign that was intended to promote testing for HIV and get more people into treatment discovered more than 18,000 adults who were infected with the disease and completely unaware of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Close to 3 million tests were performed during the campaign and just over 1 percent of those tested, or 29,503, were infected, the New York Times reports. The majority of these newly diagnosed individuals were sent into the healthcare system, and may have begun looking into life insurance policies.
"The majority of the estimated 56,000 new H.I.V. infections that occur each year are transmitted by those who are unaware of their infection," Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC's AIDS prevention center, told the media outlet.
The campaign was targeted towards at-risk populations and included $111 million provided to a number of health departments serving disproportionately affected communities. Men and blacks accounted for approximately 72 percent of the new HIV cases, the Times reports. The CDC estimates that 240,000 Americans living with HIV do not know that they are infected.