BALTIMORE - The Maryland Department of Health have joined forces with African American organizations in observing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
This year's theme is "Our Ancestors Fought That We Might Be Free - Even from HIV."
The CDC, estimates that more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States.
As of December 2010, Maryland had over 30,000 living cases, 78% were among African Americans, of which 61% were male and 39% were female.
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, says African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and the department of health is working towards a goal of a Maryland with no new HIV infections.
The department recommends testing for residents 13 years old age and older.
To help prevent aids, health advocates say avoid sharing drug needles, inform sexual partners about HIV status, avoid unprotected sex, seek treatment if you've been tested positive and follow treatment regimens.