December Is AIDS Awareness Month
AIDS Awareness Month is a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
According to AIDS.gov, more than one million Americans are living with HIV, but one in five of them are not aware they are infected. While the total number of people with HIV in the United States has increased recently, the annual number of new infections has remained relatively stable.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds us that HIV has not gone away – every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected. There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. It also serves as a prime opportunity to remind people of how important it is to get tested and to know your results.
In the early 1980s when the AIDS epidemic began, people living with HIV were not likely to live more than a few years. However, since 1996, the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has dramatically improved the quality of life for people with HIV.
ART prevents the HIV virus from multiplying inside a person, helps the body's immune cells live longer, lowers a person's risk of developing a non-HIV-related illness, and reduces the chances of transmitting HIV to others.
The Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine has a highly regarded HIV/AIDS research program with extensive NIH-funded studies in prevention and therapeutic interventions. Current and pending research studies involve close collaborations with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Drexel University School of Public Health.
The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.
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