Today is World AIDS Day. Of the estimated 1.2 million people that are currently infected with HIV in the United States, one in five do not know that they are infected, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Here is a little information on how to #ReThinkHIV
What Is HIV/AIDS?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. Without treatment, the immune system becomes increasingly weak and cannot fight off disease and infection. A person is described as HIV positive if they have contracted the HIV virus. If this same person’s immune system becomes so weak that it can no longer fight off disease, they have then developed AIDS.
Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are treatments available that allow infected individuals to live healthy lives.
If HIV is diagnosed in its early stages, treatment can help prevent or postpone the onset of AIDS.
Since those infected often receive rejection, ridicule and harsh treatment at school, work and from the health care industry, they need support from their friends, family, employers, health care providers and the community at large.
In support of those affected by the illness and with the hopes of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, a group of health ministers created World AIDS Day in December of 1988. The goal of their efforts was and still is to highlight the challenges and consequences of HIV/AIDS, prevent further spreading of the disease and to improve the livelihood of those already infected.
Each year, people from around the globe celebrate the effort to raise awareness and change lives for the better. In conjunction with World AIDS Day each year, Light to Unite is held to make a difference for those in the United States who are infected with or affected by the disease.
To show your support for the cause, light a candle on Dec. 1. Then, encourage others to get educated about this disease.
To learn more about this effort, visit www.worldaidsday.org and wear a red ribbon on Dec. 1 to show your support.