Never forget those who have been lost to this terrible disease, nor those living every day with it.Â Â From the HRC website:
World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. First held on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
According to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During the last year, some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 years old and are killed by AIDS before they reach age 35.
Yet the disaster of AIDS in black or white America does not have to be this way. While a cure is still years away, a nation with U.S. literacy rates and levels of cultural and public-health sophistication is capable of greatly reducing its number of new infections. So why are new AIDS cases, particularly among blacks in urban areas, outpacing gains in control, treatment or education among high-risk groups?
The answer lies in the unwillingness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to adopt control measures, including routine mandatory testing among broad age groups. Any time blood samples are taken from U.S. residents ages 13 to 64, such as in an emergency room, physicians should have the right to scan for HIV. For those who don’t regularly visit a doctor, blood tests could be scheduled, with the results recorded by states and the CDC. As The Post reported last week, a recent study in the Lancet concluded that such measures, accompanied by treatment for all those who are HIV positive, have the potential to end the AIDS epidemic in Africa within a decade. The effects are likely to be faster in this country.
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