Reports have shown that less than half of Americans have undergone tests for AIDS since the guidelines were improved so that routine screening is included. This is based on a government report that has been released last Tuesday.

Over the past few years, the estimated percentages of Americans who have HIV tests have increased. Last 2006, 40 percent of Americans aged 18 to 64 had HIV tests and last year, the percentage went up to 45. This means that there is a significant increase of 11 million people to 83 million people who have been screened for HIV. This was subsequently reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of CDC, the percentage increase is something encouraging, contrary to one expert who said the results were disappointing.Frieden further said during a teleconference that the numbers reveal the possibility for progress and show how much more is needed for more progress.

Last 2006, the CDC insisted that a routine testing should be done for everyone who are aged 13 to 64 regardless of whether these people are at high risks. Those people in high-risk groups, which include the homosexuals and intravenous drug users, are urged to have annual testing.

Frieden said that fewer people have been diagnosed late with HIV because more and more people are getting tested. In 2007, nearly one third of HIV infections were discovered during the latter stage, which showed an improvement from 37 percent of earlier diagnosis in the decade. Frieden continued that most of these cases were detected only when the disease have finally ended up to AIDS.

There are already available AIDS drugs that when taken, lower the amount of HIV virus but should be taken early on for better effect. People who know that they are infected are those who are more likely to follow such treatment advices to prevent the virus from spreading.

Frieden revealed that 27 percent of people who are at high risk of the disease have never undergone any testing procedures. He said that people who don’t know their HIV status cannot protect themselves and their partners effectively.

An estimate by CDC shows that roughly 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV. However, 20 percent of them are not aware of it. Nearly 56,000 new infections arise yearly in the United States. This report by CDC was based on a number of health surveys done nationwide. It was also based on state reports on infections.

Dr. John Bartlett of John Hopkins University said that the figures were somewhat disappointing. Dr. Bartlett said that “It’s an incremental gain.”

"It's an incremental gain," said Bartlett, an infectious disease specialist. According to Bartlett, when CDC changed its guidelines, there were still many states that had laws requiring for special counseling before and after tests to address HIV. Most states have already dropped such restrictions; however there are still some barriers. Bartlett said that there could be more screenings done if hospitals were forced to adopt the said routine HIV testing.