According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.2 million Americans are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
An estimated 50,000 people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year. This devastating disease attacks the immune system and affects all parts of the body, eventually leading to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), it’s most deadly and advanced stage, for which there is currently no cure. Yet there is hope for the many Americans living with HIV infection or AIDS. Researchers are developing new and more effective drug combinations, and scientists are growing ever closer to a vaccine. Improvements in medication and earlier diagnosis mean that those infected with HIV are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Still, many Americans are unaware of even the basic facts about HIV—how it is transmitted, how HIV progresses to AIDS, and how HIV and AIDS are treated.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
The fight is not just about the virus. For people living with HIV, ignorance and discrimination can still limit opportunities, preventing them from living full and happy lives. HIV means you are more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have poor mental health.
In an effort to end stigma, end HIV transmission and end the isolation experienced by people living with HIV, for good please download and share Chapter 36 of AIDS Sourcebook, Sixth Edition, which offers advice on coping with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.
For additional resources and information on World AIDS Day please visit www.worldaidsday.org.