AIDS Awareness Month is a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
According to AIDS.gov, more than one million Americans are living with HIV, but one in five of them are not aware they are infected. While the total number of people with HIV in the United States has increased recently, the annual number of new infections has remained relatively stable.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds us that HIV has not gone away – every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected. There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. It also serves as a prime opportunity to remind people of how important it is to get tested and to know your results.
In the early 1980s when the AIDS epidemic began, people living with HIV were not likely to live more than a few years. However, since 1996, the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has dramatically improved the quality of life for people with HIV. ART prevents the HIV virus from multiplying inside a person, helps the body's immune cells live longer, lowers a person's risk of developing a non-HIV-related illness, and reduces the chances of transmitting HIV to others.
3 SOBERING FACTS ABOUT HIV/AIDS
1. AIDS is still a killer
About 2 million people, including 250,000 children, die every year due to HIV infections.
2. TB tops the fatality list
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV; about 1 in 3 AIDS-related deaths are due to TB.
3. There's a need for big money
UNAIDS estimates that "$26.2 billion will be required for the AIDS response in 2020 in low- and middle-income countries, with $23.9 billion required in 2030."
4. So many remain undiagnosed
Some reports say that 1 in 7 Americans are unaware that they have the HIV virus.
5. America pays the most to fight AIDS
Still, the US accounts for almost 40,000 new infections each year.
About 37 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV. And more than 1 million people died from AIDS-related causes in 2016. Upwards of 88 million people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic. And worldwide, another 1.8 million people became infected in 2016.
These numbers are scary — but they hide an incontrovertible truth: Life expectancies for people with HIV and AIDS continue to increase. In fact, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 48 percent since their peak in 2005. Increased education and awareness, early detection, new treatments and improved health care all point to a continuing increase in life expectancy for those diagnosed with AIDS. And in honor of AIDS Awareness Month in October, we’d like to do our part to add to that body of knowledge.
AIDS remains a problem in America - 2017
About 1.2 million people are living with AIDS in the United States — of whom 15% are unaware of their infection.
HOW TO OBSERVE AIDS AWARENESS MONTH
There are plenty AIDS-related charities that could use either your donated time or money — perhaps both! Look into some of them and ask how you can be of assistance.
2. Wear red
A red ribbon, especially, is a nearly universal way to express support for people who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.
3. Get tested
A surefire way to make sure you are healthy and unable to pass the disease onto others.
Amani Women Center:
(AWC) fills a very important gap for the work we do in the refugee community by providing culturally sensitive programs and services to the different ethnic groups represented in Clarkson, Georgia. Crucial to the AWC’s work is a holistic, culturally informed, and collaborative approach. AWC believes in the value of creating trusting relationships on a person-to-person basis to identify community needs and obstacles to develop effective solutions that empower and strengthen the community. We continue to show commitment by effectively and efficiently providing tailored programming and services through our ethnically diverse team that is reflective of the community we serve. Also, AWC’s work and supporters continue to grow and expand with the changing needs of the community and the development of new alliances.