Every year, World AIDS Day is held on December 1st to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and to mourn those who have died from the disease.

According to the most recent statistics, nearly 38 million people around the world are living with HIV. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981. Since that time, 75 million people have become infected with HIV. Tens of millions of people have died of AIDS-related causes.

Much has been done, especially in the last few decades, to address the AIDS epidemic. While there is still no cure, significant progress has been made. The number of newly infected people has declined. The number of AIDS-related deaths has gone down. Additionally, the number of people receiving effective treatment has increased.

The first HIV treatment was introduced in 1987. Since then, numerous drugs have been developed to treat HIV. There are also drugs available that reduce the risk of contracting HIV through needles or sexual activity. Available treatment and early detection have helped to increase the life expectancy of those infected with HIV/AIDS. In 1996, the life-expectancy of a 20-year old with HIV was 39 years. Today, life expectancy is 78 years.


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