Monday, December 1, 2008

World Aids Day 2008

December 1, 2008 is the 20th anniversary of World Aids Day. Statistics furnished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)indicate that around the world, 33 million people are living with HIV with nearly 7,500 new infections occurring each day. An estimated 3 million people are now receiving antiretroviral treatment in low and middle-income countries.

In the United States, CDC estimates that about 1.1 million people are living with HIV.

World AIDS Day is a time to celebrate the many lives saved by HIV prevention and treatment programs. It also serves as a reminder that we all must do more — as individuals, communities, and as world citizens — to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS.

CDC currently estimates that approximately one in five persons living with HIV in the United States is unaware of his or her infection and may be unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

Since anyone can be at risk for HIV, CDC recommends that adults and adolescents between the ages of 13 and 64 years of age be routinely screened for HIV infection in healthcare settings. Pregnant women in the U.S. should be screened for HIV infection as part of their routine prenatal testing.

Once tested, individuals can take steps to protect their health or, if infected, they can gain access to health-sustaining treatments and care, and help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

On this World AIDS Day 2008, we all need to commit to expanding the reach of effective prevention efforts to those at risk and those living with HIV in order to stop the further spread of HIV in the United States.

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