Dr. Jonathan Mermin: June 26, 2019

CDC Data Show Most Americans Have Never Had an HIV Test

On National HIV Testing Day (June 27), CDC is releasing new data** that underscore the urgent need to scale up HIV testing to end the epidemic




Dr. Jonathan Mermin

Director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS


1 in 7 people with HIV in the U.S. don’t know they have the virus, which is why increasing testing is so important, but CDC data show most people in the U.S. have never had an HIV test. The new data** to be released on HIV Testing Day (June 27th) will show testing is well below where it needs to be, even among populations at high risk and in areas of the country most impacted by HIV.


Did you know?

  • CDC recommends everyone aged 13-64 be screened at least once in their lifetime; people with specific risk factors should be screened at least once a year
  • Testing is one of the four key strategies in the new federal initiative to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S., Ending the Epidemic: A Plan for America
  • Getting an HIV test has never been quicker or easier than it is today
  • Approximately 1 in 7 (15%) of people living with HIV in America don’t know they have it
  • People with HIV who take medication daily as prescribed and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner


On June 26th – just in time for HIV Testing Day – CDC’s Dr’s Jonathan Mermin and Donna McCree are available to talk about the critical role of increasing HIV testing as part of the proposed federal initiative to end the HIV epidemic and what everyone can do to support this goal. 


More About Dr. Jonathan Mermin

Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, is the director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), and a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.


Dr. Mermin oversees the nation’s efforts to prevent HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. These infections affect millions of Americans and cause tens of thousands of deaths each year. NCHHSTP focuses on high impact prevention strategies that are cost-effective, scalable, and grounded in the latest research. These strategies save lives, save money, reduce health disparities, and protect the health of all Americans.


From 2009-2013, Dr. Mermin directed CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, overseeing the agency’s HIV efforts in the United States. He previously served as Director of CDC-Kenya and HHS Public Health Attaché for the U.S. Embassy from 2006-2009 and as Director of CDC-Uganda from 1999-2006. In Uganda, he oversaw implementation of the first antiretroviral treatment program funded by CDC outside of the United States, gaining practical experience for PEPFAR and supporting widespread HIV treatment efforts in developing countries.


Dr. Mermin began his career at CDC in 1995 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer (EIS) with the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch. He completed an internal medicine residency at San Francisco General Hospital and a preventive medicine residency at CDC and the California Department of Health Services. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford University School of Medicine, and he received his MPH from Emory University. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Public Health.



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