Globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, many 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. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as 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.
Facts about World AIDS Day
The theme for World AIDS Day in 2014 is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”
The Red Ribbon is the universal symbol of support for those living with HIV/AIDS.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt Project allows friends and family members of someone who has died from AIDS to construct a quilt panel and have it placed in the quilt. The quilt travels and is displayed throughout the US. (Source: www.aidsquilt.org)
The first case of what is now known as AIDS, was reported in the US in June 1981.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 5 are unaware of their infection.