December 1 is World AIDS Day
Treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS has come a long way, and many people are living longer, healthier lives. However, the AIDS pandemic is not over, and the fight must continue. The UN estimates that 36 million people are living with HIV, including over 1.2 million in the U.S. The virus has caused the deaths of over 35 million people, and there still is no cure.
December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day when the world is asked to show support for people living with HIV. Find out how you can join in the fight against AIDS by visiting the Federal government’s dedicated website Aids.gov. The website suggests 3 ways that you can get involved:
1. Learn more about HIV/AIDS.
The first step in the fight against AIDS is to educate yourself about the disease. Understand how HIV is transmitted. Learn how you can protect yourself and lower your risk. On this website, you can learn about avoiding risky behaviors, how to get tested, and what to do if you are diagnosed. The six main ways to lower your risk of contracting HIV are:
- Choose less risky sexual behavior
- Use condoms consistently and correctly
- Reduce your number of sexual partners
- If you are in a high-risk category, use HIV medication to reduce your risk
- Get tested and treated for HIV and other STDs
- If your partner is HIV+, encourage him or her to get treatment and stay on it
2. Get tested.
The only way to know for certain if you have HIV is to get tested. Getting tested is not hard to do. You can find a testing center in your area, talk to your doctor, or use an at-home testing kit. If you are diagnosed with HIV, this gives you the opportunity to get started on treatments and take precautions to prevent others from acquiring the virus.
3. Get involved.
People with HIV need care and support. The more we educate others about the disease, the better we can fight it and work to stop its spread. Go to Aids.gov to find posters, images, and social media posts. Share these images on December 1 (or throughout the year) in honor of those living with HIV. Other ways to get involved in the fight are to donate money to AIDS organizations or volunteer for a group that serves people living with HIV. If you want to go the extra mile, see the World AIDS Day suggestions for raising money for AIDS organizations.
This December 1, take some time out of your day to reflect on the AIDS epidemic and the many lives it has claimed. Much has been done to raise money, conduct research, and develop treatments for this disease, but without a cure, the disease will continue. We hope you can take steps to become active in the fight against AIDS.
The Harris School of Business prepares students for careers in the field of healthcare. We want our students to have a strong understanding the complex issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and to treat all patients with care and compassion.