HIV-Testing Program Finds 18K New Cases But more than 200K have infection without knowing it By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Jun 24, 2011 9:38 AM CDT 2 comments Comments A lab worker organizes blood samples to be tested for HIV. (AP Photo/Luis Romero) (Newser) – An estimated 240,000 people in America have HIV without knowing it, but that figure is dropping after three years of targeted testing among high-risk populations, the Washington Post reports. The $111 million program, carried out in ERs, venereal disease clinics, and drug-treatment centers around the US found 18,000 people with the illness. “This is a considerable boost to the nation’s health. Did it make a difference to America? I think it did,” said a top CDC official. The program tested patients in the 25 cities and states with the highest infection rates and focused particularly on African-Americans, who account for about half of all new infections. The positive outcome of the program: Many more can get "treatment without which almost all would die,” said the CDC official. What’s more, those who know they have the illness are less likely to transmit it.