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World AIDS Month

December is World AIDS Month

World AIDS Month begins on December 1, which is World AIDS Day. Throughout the month of December, public and private organizations focus attention and resources on the HIV and AIDS epidemic that is still effecting millions of people around the world.

There is still no cure for HIV and AIDS, but there are promising advances in medical and scientific research that gives hope for a cure in the not so distant future.

AIDS and the HIV virus are two different things:

  • AIDS is short for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a disease caused by weakening of the body by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS causes the body to lose it's ability to fight infections and malignant tumors.
  • HIV is short for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It attacks the body's immune system and makes people more susceptible to infections and diseases. If not treated aggressively and successfully, over time, HIV causes full blown AIDS.

Since the first cases of AIDS were diagnosed in the United States in the 1970's, over a half million Americans have died from the disease and it is estimated that over a million people are infected today. It is also estimated that more than fifty thousand new cases are diagnosed each year.

Around the world, millions more have died from AIDS and millions more are infected. Although the number of AIDS cases appear to be dropping, the number of people still getting infected is unacceptable.

What are the goals of World AIDS Month:

  • World AIDS Month calls for a renewed commitment each year from politicians, doctors, the scientific community, and public and private organizations to keep the disease front and center on the minds of people everywhere.
  • It calls for a coordinated effort by governments around the world to educate their citizens about the HIV virus and AIDS.
  • World AIDS Month highlights the need to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • It is a call for increased spending on HIV and AIDS research.
  • World AIDS Month is a call for medical communities in every country to provide humane and effective health care for those who are infected.
  • It is a reminder each year that we should not lose sight of how close HIV and AIDS is to all of us. Most people know someone who has died from AIDS or is living with the HIV virus.

AIDS is a complex collection of complications and symptoms that wears the body down by attacking CD4 cells and damaging the immune system.

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