by Bill Nguyen
December is AIDS Awareness Month, meant to honor those who have passed away and celebrate technological achievements that have made AIDS less prevalent. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that affects cells in the immune system, while AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the set of symptoms and viruses acquired in the later stages of HIV. According to hiv.gov, more than 1.1 million people in the United States currently live with HIV, and 1 in 7 of those infected are not aware. However, the number of individuals newly infected with HIV in the United States has become relatively stable for most demographics within recent years, likely attributing to increased access to treatment and prevention services.
AIDS Awareness month reminds us that the fight against HIV/AIDS still persists. As long as millions of people worldwide continue to become infected, there remains initiative to raise awareness and push for an increase in prevention services and education.
To learn more about HIV and AIDS, visit the following websites: