Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today is World AIDS Day

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day.   This day has been observed for 23 years, and began as a way to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and those affected by the disease.  World AIDS Day helps fight the stigma for people living with HIV by providing education and steps for prevention.  The World Health Organization’s theme for the day, which runs from 2011 through 2015 is “Getting to Zero – zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS related deaths.”

The disease, first discovered in 1981, affects nearly 1.2 million people in the United States.  The United States has made tremendous progress against HIV, preventing hundreds of thousands of new infections and helping people live longer, healthier, more productive lives with effective treatments. Testing is the only way to identify the nearly 250,000 Americans currently living with HIV who do not know they're infected – that's 1 in 5 of all Americans with HIV.  HIV testing and diagnosis are the first steps toward connecting people to life-extending treatment, as well as helping to prevent the spread of HIV to partners.

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