Yesterday was World AIDS Day, a global event that takes place each year on December 1st to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, to honor those who have died from AIDS-related illness, and to show support for those living with HIV.
Globally, we have made advances in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. New HIV infections have decreased by 47% since 1996, and deaths from AIDS-related illnesses have fallen more than 51% since 2004. We have made advances in HIV testing and prevention as well as antiretroviral treatment. Pre-exposure antiretroviral prophylaxis or “PrEP” has been shown to be an effective form of HIV prevention. PrEP is a pill that, when taken consistently, can reduce HIV infection risk in high-risk individuals by up to 92%. And when used with other HIV prevention methods such as using condoms, can offer even more protection. In 2015, the World Health Organization recommended use of pre-exposure antiretroviral prophylaxis or “PrEP” for high-risk individuals to prevent HIV.
However, while we have made tremendous progress in understanding the HIV virus and how to both treat and prevent it, there is still more to be done. About one in four people with HIV do not know they are infected. 1.8 million people are newly infected each year with HIV, any people across the globe lack access to the critical HIV prevention and care that they need to live long, healthy lives.
To learn more about HIV and how you can support people living with the virus, please visit the following resources:
CDC: About HIV/AIDS | https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html
HIV.gov | https://www.hiv.gov/
HIV/AIDS World Health Organization | http://www.who.int/hiv/en/
San Francisco AIDS Foundation | http://www.sfaf.org/hiv-info/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, November 1). Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.html
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2018, July 25). The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic. https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/the-global-hivaids-epidemic/
National AIDS Trust: World AIDS Day. (2018). About World AIDS Day. https://www.worldaidsday.org/about/
UNAIDS. (2018). Global HIV & AIDS statistics – 2018 fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018, November 20). Global Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/global-statistics
World Health Organization. (2015). Guideline on when to start antiretroviral therapy and on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, web supplement: annex 2: evidence to decision-making tables and supporting evidence (No. WHO/HIV/2015.36). World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (N.d.). WHO and HIV: 30-Year Timeline. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/hiv/mediacentre/news/WAD_Timeline.jpg