What is World AIDS Day? Take a Quiz to Test Your Knowledge on the Disease.

WHAT IS WORLD AIDS DAY?

World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

WHY IS WORLD AIDS DAY IMPORTANT?

Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ON WORLD AIDS DAY?

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show support to and solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV. Wearing a red ribbon is one simple way to do this. Find out where you can get a red ribbon.

World AIDS Day is also a great opportunity to raise money for NAT (National AIDS Trust) and show your support for people living with HIV. If you feel inspired to hold an event, such aOKs a bake sale, or simply sell red ribbons, visit our fundraising page. If you’d like to see events that others are holding please visit our events page.

BUT WHAT ABOUT AFTER WORLD AIDS DAY?

Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to talk about HIV, it is important to keep the momentum going all year round. Sign up to NAT’s newsletter which will keep you up to date with all the new developments in HIV and the work of the National AIDS Trust, or visit our website, HIVaware, for more information.

 

How many people become infected with HIV each year in the United States?
About 50,000 people get infected with HIV each year. In 2010, there were around 47,500 new HIV infections in the United States.
How many people are living with HIV in the United States? 
About 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2012, the most recent year this information was available. Of those people, about 12.8% do not know they are infected.
How does CDC know who is infected but does not know it?
CDC estimates the number of people living with HIV (called prevalence) by using a scientific model. This model helps CDC estimate the number of new HIV infections and how many people are infected but don’t know it. HIV prevalence is the number of people living with HIV infection at a given time, such as at the end of a given year. More information on HIV prevalence.
There are different ways to answer this question.

If we look at HIV infection by race and ethnicity, we see that African Americans are most affected by HIV. In 2010, African Americans made up only 12% of the US population, but had 44% of all new HIV infections. Additionally, Hispanic/Latinos are also strongly affected. They make up 17% of the US population, but had 21% of all new HIV infections.

Do people still die from HIV?
Yes. In the United States, about 13,712 people diagnosed with AIDS died in 2012. HIV disease remains a significant cause of death for certain populations. To date, an estimated 658,507 people diagnosed with AIDS in the United States have died.

Do parts of the country have more HIV than other parts? 
Yes. HIV is largely an urban disease, with most cases occurring in metropolitan areas with 500,000 or more people. The South has the highest number of individuals living with HIV, but when you take population size into account, the Northeast has the highest rate of persons living with new HIV infections. (Rates are the number of cases of disease per 100,000 people. Rates allow comparisons between two groups of different sizes.)

HIV and AIDS in the United States by Geographic Distribution is a fact sheet that explains the geography of HIV in the United States.

What about HIV around the world? 
HIV disease continues to be a serious health issue for parts of the world. Worldwide, there were about 2 million new cases of HIV in 2014. About 36.9 million people are living with HIV around the world, and as of March 2015, around 15 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). An estimated 1.2 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2014, and about 39 million people worldwide have died of AIDS-related causes since the epidemic began. Seventy percent of all people living with HIV in 2014 were living in Sub-Saharan Africa, which bears the heaviest burden of HIV/AIDS worldwide. Other regions significantly affected by HIV/AIDS include Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

CDC’s Global AIDS website explains what CDC is doing in countries where HIV and AIDS have had great impact.

Interested in learning more about CDC’s HIV statistics?
Terms, definitions, and calculations that CDC uses in generating its reports
Surveillance Systems Supported by the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention outlines the processes and programs through which CDC gathers information on HIV.
You can also visit Statistics and Surveillance for reports and other information on CDC’s HIV and AIDS surveillance activities.

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