HIV testing in The Bronx, New York, has increased by 28 percent in the past year thanks to a borough-wide initiative, “The Bronx Knows,” that included voluntary tests provided by clinics, hospitals and community organizations, United Press International reports.

According to the article, about 160,000 Bronx residents have participated in the testing program.

“Knowing your status is one of the best things you can do to stop the spread of HIV,” said Thomas Farley, MD, New York City’s health commissioner, in a statement. “Bronx residents are taking the lead by getting tested. We thank the many groups and health care providers who helped make this possible, and encourage all New Yorkers who don’t yet know their status to get tested.”

With 876 residents diagnosed with HIV in 2007, the Bronx accounts for nearly a fourth of New York City’s HIV diagnoses and more than a quarter of AIDS-related deaths each year.

About 921 of the 3,787 New Yorkers who were diagnosed with HIV in 2007 had already progressed to AIDS when they learned their status.