World AIDS Day observance started in 1988 to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and work to end the epidemic.
Here are seven facts about where things stand today:
- An estimated 34 million people have HIV/AIDS worldwide. In the USA, an estimated 1.2 million people live with HIV and one out of every seven are not aware they have the virus.
- In the USA, the number of new HIV infections reported have decreased from approximately 130,000 a year to 50,000 a year since the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has the most people living with HIV in the world. In 2013, there were an estimated 24.7 million cases in the region.
- There is no cure for the disease, but antiretroviral drugs (ART) have helped people live longer with the virus. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 12.9 million people received the drug therapy in 2013.
- AIDS-related deaths globally have decreased by almost 40% across age groups, from 2005 to 2013, but deaths for children ages 10 to 19 have not decreased.
- In the USA, HIV primarily occurs in urban areas with a population of more than 500,000 people.
- The group most affected by HIV in the USA remains gay or bisexual men. Male-to-male sex accounted for nearly 63% of new HIV infections in 2010.
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