Act Aware: 11 Facts About HIV/AIDS

Posted on December 1, 2010


December 1st is World AIDS Day. This year’s theme is “Act Aware”, as such PharmacyWeek is doing it’s part by giving you some quick facts on HIV/AIDS. Please feel free to share this with family, friends and patients to help others remain aware of HIV/AIDS.

  • June 5th, 2011 will mark the 30th anniversary of the first documented case of HIV/AIDS when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recorded a cluster of Pneumocystis cariniipneumonia (now still classified as PCP but known to be caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii) in five homosexual men in Los Angeles. (CDC)
  • The 2010 Global Update on the AIDS Epidemic by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that in 2009 the pace of new infections had declined by almost 20% compared to 1999, but still outpaces treatment success by two to one. (World AIDS Campaign)
  • Despite tremendous progress, 33.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide, and according to UNAIDS, approximately 2.7 million new infections occurred in 2008. An estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States. Of those, as many as 1 in 5 people (approx. 200,000) are unaware of their HIV infection.
  • Nearly 30 years into the epidemic, there are still more than 56,000 new HIV infections and 14,000 AIDS deaths in the U.S. each year.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 blacks or African Americans; more than half of Hispanics or Latinos; and 60% of whites have never been tested for HIV.
  • More women (47.7%) than men (41.3%) reported ever having an HIV test.
  • In 2008, more than 40% of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in major US cities had not been tested in the past 12 months.
  • HIV and AIDS were originally thought to affect mostly gay men. However, women have always been affected too. And even though more men than women have HIV, women are catching up. In fact, if new HIV infections continue at their current rate worldwide, women with HIV may soon outnumber men with HIV.
  • Today in America, 152 people will become infected with HIV. Half of them will be Black. (Black AIDS Institute)
  • The CDC recommends that HIV testing be a part of routine healthcare. This means: Everyone ages 13-64 get tested at least once. People at high risk for HIV get tested more often. Those at the highest risk (including Injection-Drug Users and their sex partners, persons who exchange sex for money or drugs, sex partners of HIV-infected persons and Men who have Sex with Men) get tested at least annually. Women get tested during each pregnancy.

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