November 30, 2009

World AIDS day, Dec 1st

Support World AIDS Day

HIV can affect anybody. Anyone who is sexually active or shares needles is at risk of getting or passing on HIV. However in the UK most people living with HIV are gay or bisexual men and black African men and women. Over 7,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK every year.

Although gay men are most affected in the UK, more heterosexual people than gay men were diagnosed with HIV last year. On average most people diagnosed are in their 30s, but more than one in 10 diagnoses are among young people (aged 16-24); and five per cent of people diagnosed are over 55. There are also over 1,000 children living with HIV in the UK. Find out more about who is affected on the NAT website.

People living with HIV:

  • 33.4 million people living with HIV worldwide
  • 31.3 million adults
  • 15.7 million women
  • 2.1 million children under 15

New HIV cases in 2007:

  • 2.7 million people
  • 2.3 million adults
  • 430,000 children under 15

HIV-related deaths in 2007:

  • 2 million total deaths

How can I protect myself and others from HIV infection?

Always use a condom when having vaginal or anal sex. You also may want to use a condom or dental dam during oral sex although the risk of transmission of HIV is much lower. You can get free condoms from a sexual health clinic. Never share needles, syringes or any other injecting equipment.

World AIDS Day

observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007,making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

Protecting from HIV is easy and cheap, just make sure to use follow them!

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