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Dec. 01, 2010

World AIDS Day 2010

by Zach Lynn


video by whitehouse

Today, December 1st, is the 24th annual World AIDS Day. Each World AIDS Day has a theme and 2010's is "Universal Access and Human Rights." For Americans, this should serve as a reminder that although AIDS related deaths have declined in the United States, AIDS is global health issue. About 33 million people, including over 2.5 million children, are living with HIV or AIDS.

The White House Office of National AIDS Policy explains the state of AIDS in the United States:

When one of our fellow citizens becomes infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) every nine-and-half minutes, the epidemic affects all Americans. It has been nearly thirty years since the first cases of HIV garnered the world’s attention. Without treatment, the virus slowly debilitates a person’s immune system until they succumb to illness. The epidemic has claimed the lives of nearly 600,000 Americans and affects many more. Our nation is at a crossroads. We have the knowledge and tools needed to slow the spread of HIV infection and improve the health of people living with HIV. Despite this potential, however, the public’s sense of urgency associated with combating the epidemic appears to be declining. In 1995, 44% of the general public indicated that HIV/AIDS was the most urgent health problem facing the Nation, compared to only 6% in March 2009. While HIV transmission rates have been reduced substantially over time and people with HIV are living longer and more productive lives, approximately 56,000 people become infected each year and more Americans are living with HIV than ever before. Unless we take bold actions, we face a new era of rising infections, greater challenges in serving people living with HIV, and higher health care costs.

To visit the World AIDS Day website, click here.
To learn more about AIDS and our Federal Government's plan to fight it, visit aids.gov

About Zach Lynn

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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