December 1st is World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to remembering those lost to HIV/AIDS infection around the world. But it is also a day for raising awareness, for reminding all of us to live our lives responsibly, safely.
- More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 8 of them don’t know it.
- From 2005 to 2014, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses declined 19%.
- Gay and bisexual men, particularly young African American gay and bisexual men, are most affected.
- There were approximately 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2015. Of these, 1.8 million were children (<15 years old).
- Currently only 60% of people with HIV know their status. The remaining 40% (over 14 million people) still need to access HIV testing services.
- An estimated 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide since the start of the epidemic.
- The vast majority of people living with HIV are in low- to middle-income countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy lives and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. (Unfortunately, most people living with HIV or at risk for HIV in the most vulnerable parts of the world do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment.)
The Good News
People living with HIV who have access to proper treatment can live a normal and fruitful life. And the number of new HIV diagnoses in the US fell 19% from 2005 to 2014.
It is your life. Live well. Live aware. Get tested. Play responsibly.