MEDFORD, N.Y., May 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMI), a leader in point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, today announced that the Company is a proud sponsor and Co-Chair Advocate for the 28 th Annual AIDS Walk New York, which takes place this Sunday, May 19 th and begins and ends in Central Park. "We are proud to continue our support of the Annual AIDS Walk New York to increase awareness of HIV and raise funds to support important services. The money raised through the collective efforts of tens of thousands of participants provides medical care, home-delivered meals, women's and children's services, educational and preventive services and much more to New York area residents who are affected by AIDS," said Lawrence Siebert, Chief Executive Officer of Chembio. Despite the funding and advocacy efforts of community-based organizations such as Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and despite current testing options, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 1.2 million Americans with HIV and approximately 240,000 of them are unaware of their status. Those who do not know they are HIV positive are unknowingly responsible for up to 70% of the estimated 50,000 new cases of HIV infection that occur each year. "GMHC is immensely grateful for Chembio's sponsorship of the 28th annual AIDS Walk New York. With approximately 25% of people unaware of their HIV positive status, the recent FDA's approval of Chembio's Point of Care HIV rapid test for HIV 1 and 2, affords GMHC's HIV testing program and sister programs, the ability to bring testing to the most marginalized and stigmatized populations. It is a great addition to our current HIV prevention tool box," commented Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "There continues to be a pressing need for better testing in order to control and prevent the spread of this infectious disease. Consequently, we support the recent final recommendation by members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for the routine HIV testing of all adults aged 15-65, regardless of their risk. This expanded testing recommendation should help to lower overall health care costs by the early identification of those infected. Early diagnosis helps decrease the spread of these infectious diseases and promotes early access to care, which reduces the need for more costly late-stage treatments," noted Mr. Siebert.