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It is estimated that about 38 million people in the world who have the AIDS virus. Since 1984, more than 35 million people have died from AIDS or related illnesses. These staggering statistics make it one of the most destructive diseases in history. AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.

December 1 is recognized around the globe as World AIDS Day.  On this day people worldwide show support for those living with AIDS or HIV.

In the U.S., most people with HIV do not develop AIDS because taking HIV medicine as prescribed stops the progression of the disease. In recent years there have been scientific advances in the treatment of the disease, but many people still contract it, as they aren’t educated in how to prevent this preventable disease. Funding is still needed in order to increase awarenes, fight prejudices, and continue education.

The only way to know if you have HIV is with a test. The sooner you start treatment for HIV, the better chances you have to stop the virus from progressing into AIDS.

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