AIDS Awareness Month, observed every October, supports educational campaigns that disseminate science-based, factual, and clear information to youths, at-risk people, and the general public. With over 37 million people living with HIV worldwide, public information about its prevention, transmission, and treatment must be accurate and widely available.
Advocates have several goals including educating people about the importance of knowing your status and regular testing, lobbying for accessible and affordable testing and treatment, reducing stigma, ensuring the public has accurate information about HIV risk and transmission and supporting patients living with HIV/AIDS.
Did you know?
There were approximately 37.6 million people across the globe with HIV in 2020. Of these, 35.9 million were adults and 1.7 million were children (<15 years old).
New HIV Infections—An estimated 1.5 million individuals worldwide acquired HIV in 2020, marking a 30% decline in new HIV infections since 2010. (New HIV infections, or “HIV incidence,” refers to the estimated number of people who newly acquired the HIV virus during given period such as a year, which is different from the number of people diagnosed with HIV during a year. (Some people may have HIV but not know it.) Of these new HIV infections:
- 1.3 million were among adults
- 160,000 were among children (<15 years old)
HIV Testing—Approximately 84% of people with HIV globally knew their HIV status in 2020. The remaining 16% (about 6.0 million people) still need access to HIV testing services. HIV testing is an essential gateway to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
The greatest thing to me about the above paragraph is almost 85% of people knew their HIV status thru testing. Testing is more assessable than ever before and can even be done in the privacy of your own home.
We’ve come a long way with education, advocacy, and testing of HIV/AIDS and we will move even further in the coming years.
If you have any doubt, get tested.
Be safe, have safe sex, and know your health status.