December 1st has been nationally recognized as World AIDS Day. On this day, we focus on spreading awareness about a disease that has continued to affect and take so many lives for the past 27 years.
According to UNAIDS:
- Over 1 million people in the United States are infected with the HIV virus
- 33.4 million people are living with HIV, worldwide
- Over half of those who are HIV positive, are between the ages of 30 and 44
- 14 million children have been orphaned because of AIDS
- Get tested- The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that everyone ages 13-64 get tested.
- Individuals who are considered high risk ( intravenous drug users, having multiple sex partners, engaging in unprotected sex) should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
- Spread the word- encourage friends and loved ones to get tested and to engage in activities that will not put them at high risk for contracting this deadly disease (having multiple partners and unprotected sex).
- Protect yourself- Use condoms and have only one sex partner. Get tested together with your partner.
- Donate to organizations such as Keep a Child Alive, whose mission is to raise money to help treat those with AIDS and educate others on how to avoid contracting this disease.
AIDS has become a global pandemic but, through education and awareness we can all do our part in preventing the spread of this disease.