Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
WASHINGTON - Today is recognized as World AIDS Day.
Know Your Status
The following statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are blunt reminders that HIV/AIDS is a sad reality among American Indians:
World AIDS Day draws attention to the current status of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunoÂ¬deficiency syndrome, HIV/AIDS, epidemic worldwide. The theme for this year's observance on December 1 is Leading with Science, Uniting for Action.
The first cases of AIDS were reported 30 years ago in the June 5, 1981. Since then, the epidemic has claimed the lives of nearly 30 million persons worldÂ¬wide, and an estimated 34 million persons currently are living with HIV infection.
Global efforts, including the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an implementing partner, have resulted in an estimated 6.6 million persons in low-income and middle-income countries currently receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS at the end of 2010. Compared with 2009, this represents the largest ever annual increase in the number of persons accessing HIV treatment at 1.4 million.
In the United States, approximately 575,000 persons diagÂ¬nosed with AIDS have died since the first cases were reported 30 years ago, and approximately 50,000 persons become infected with HIV each year. An estimated 1.2 million persons in the United States are living with HIV infection.
Some reasons for the high HIV rates among American Indians and Alaska Natives include:
The only sure way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. That's because you can have HIV and still feel healthy. Once you know your status, you can take steps to protect yourself and stop the spread of HIV:
posted December 1, 2011 11:57 am est
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