Today is World AIDS Day. I’ve blogged before about how STDs can affect your relationships and why your health is more important than your sex life. However, today is a day where people around the world think about the risks and affects of this disease so its imperative that we all are aware of how insidious it is.
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.
The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
I’ll repeat a fact that’s worth repeating: AIDS is now the leading cause of death for black women ages 25-44. There is no cure for AIDS but with proper treatment those affected are living longer and healthier lives.
So today, think about ways you can take action in response to AIDS:
- get tested for HIV
- practice safer methods to prevent HIV
- decide not to engage in high risk behaviors
- talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues
- provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS
- get involved with or host an event for World AIDS Day in your community
Here are links around the internet that raise awareness of this disease: