State health officials say California has passed a major goal in fighting HIV/AIDS: more than 90 percent of people living with the virus have been diagnosed, a necessary first step in treatment.
The state accomplished this goal six years ahead of the target 2020 set in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, established by the White House.
Data released Monday from 2014 shows 91 percent of Californians with HIV had been diagnosed.
In a statement, state public health officer Dr. Karen Smith said she was "proud of the work we’ve done across the Golden State to meet and surpass this key indicator, which will help us improve viral suppression rates and reduce new HIV infections.”
Only after people have been diagnosed can they be treated and dramatically reduce the virus in their blood, usually to undetectable levels. Successful treatment can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to sex partners by 96 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health.