ORLANDO, Fla. — About 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV and research by HIV.gov suggests about 13 percent might not know it. 

Central Florida health care providers are calling on more people to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

What You Need To Know

  • Central Florida health care providers are calling on more people to get tested for HIV

  • More than 14,000 cases documented in the Orlando-area

  • AIDSVu Epidemic Map in the U.S.

Data from AIDSVu shows Orlando had one of the largest HIV rates in 2021 with more than 14,000 cases.

That overall data shows the rate of black males living with an HIV diagnosis is about four times that of white males. 

The rate of black females living with an HIV diagnosis is about 17 times that of white females.

About 31 percent of HIV diagnosis are found in the Hispanic and Latinx community, with 27 percent in the white community. 

Andres Ardila was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 23 and says when he found out, he felt powerless to make a change.

But now he says he’s found strength in advocating for people with HIV and learned the best thing is to get tested. 

“You should be getting tested regularly,” said Ardila, now the community director with Pineapple Health. “Especially if you’re sexually active. Every three months and on top of that, they need to know about prep.

“You know prep is not just a solution for gay men prep is for everyone and so if you’re a heterosexual woman that is sexually active or a heterosexual man that is sexually active you need to consider prep as a very viable option to protect yourself against HIV.”

The Orlando Immunology Center offers medical services that include screenings and care for sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, HIV, and emerging infections for sexually active people in Central Florida.