World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day
12.01.11 | By Preet Bilinski
World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world. It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as improved therapies, increased access to treatment and prevention services. See how the disease and the world have changed over the last 30 years in this brief video.
It's a time to reflect on all of the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and look ahead to what can still be done. Over the past three decades, more than 30 medicines have been approved to treat HIV/AIDS. While these medicines have helped to prolong the lives of HIV-infected patients, it is not enough. America's biopharmaceutical researchers are focusing on improved treatment regimens, more effective treatments, and intensifying their efforts to develop preventative vaccines with 88 medicines and vaccines in development. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative estimates that a vaccine that is 50 percent effective and given to only 30 percent of the population could reduce new HIV infections by 24 percent over 15 years. That would make a significant impact since in the US alone; the CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 people are newly infected with HIV each year.
While HIV/AIDS is still one of the most devastating diseases affecting people around the world, overall global growth of the disease has stabilized, the number of new infections has been steadily declining, and there are fewer AIDS-related deaths, bringing us closer to the goal of getting to zero.
You can hear more directly from researchers and advocates from our coverage of the 30th anniversary of the disease, earlier this year.