World AIDS day is December 1st and is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about the HIV virus which leads to AIDS. While there have been medical advances to treat and manage HIV, there is still no cure for HIV or AIDS. Around the world approximately 35 million people are living with HIV and in the United States about *50,000 people get infected with HIV every year.
HIV & AIDS in the United States
Approximately 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States and nearly 1 in 8 people are not even aware they are infected**. With advances in treatment, people who are diagnosed with the virus are able to live longer than ever. However early diagnosis is the key to fully benefit from available life-extending treatment. Among those diagnosed with HIV infection during 2013, one-quarter (24%) were simultaneously diagnosed with AIDS, indicating they were likely infected for many years without knowing it. Approximately 14,000 people with AIDS in the United States die each year.
Key Affected Populations
Men who have sex with men is the most effected group in the USA accounting for 68% of all new HIV infections in 2013 with only 66% of them are aware they have the infection. People who inject drugs in the USA accounted for 8% of new HIV infections in 2013 and an estimated 18% of people living with HIV are people who injected drugs. This leaves 24% of new HIV infections in Heterosexuals who do not inject drugs.
Many health clinics and insurance companies offer free testing for HIV. Getting tested early can help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS and can also help those infected live longer more fulfilling lives.