World AIDS Day commemorates lives lost, brings awareness to disease

AIDS is a disease that takes nearly 13,000 lives each year in the US. It’s been 40 years since the CDC reported the first case of AIDS.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:25 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - December 1 is World AIDS Day. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV.

It’s also a day to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

AIDS is a disease that takes nearly 13,000 lives each year in the US. It’s been 40 years since the CDC reported the first case of AIDS.

In 1997, the US set a goal to find a vaccine for HIV within ten years. That never happened, but we now have medications that make the disease more manageable and can help prevent new infections.

As of two years ago, there were 1.1 million people living with HIV in the US. In August, Louisville health officials say HIV cases were increasing in Louisville.

In early 2020, Norton Healthcare began offering HIV testing to all emergency department patients who were receiving lab work as a result of their treatment.

“There are still people out there that we unfortunately pick them up as positive patients they didn’t understand their risk very well,” Dr. Paul Schulz, Infectious Diseases Specialist with Norton Infectious Diseases Institute said. “Discussions about your sexual health with your provider is very important. They may not know if you didn’t bring it up have an open discussion about it you may not get the care you should get or prevention you could get.”

In addition to testing patients in the emergency department, Norton Healthcare offers self-referral testing through the Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens locations and all Immediate Care Centers. For more information on testing, click or tap here.

President Biden’s national HIV and AIDS strategy aims to prevent new infections, improve outcomes for people living with HIV, and reduce health inequity. It prioritizes black women, trans women, people 13 to 24-years-old, IV drug users, and Black, Latino and Native American men.

The plan’s goal is to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. It will be the country’s third national HIV strategy.

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