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5 Facts about AIDS

Update Date: Dec 01, 2014 11:01 AM EST

Today is World AIDS Day, a day that was started back in 1988 to increase awareness about HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Since then, experts have worked with one another to find ways to end the epidemic. In celebration of this day, here are five facts about AIDS:

1. As of today, there are an estimated 34 million people throughout the world that have tested positive for HIV. Within the United States, the rate is around 1.2 million with one in every seven people unaware of their condition.

2. Out of the 34 million infected people, the majority of them are residing in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in 2013, there were 24.7 million cases in Sub-Saharan. In addition, about 70 percent of all new HIV cases happen in this region of the world.

3. The number of new HIV infections has been on the decline in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the number of new HIV cases has fallen from 130,000 to 50,000 per year.

4. There is no cure for HIV. However, the infection can be highly manageable with antiretroviral therapy. Patients who follow their medication regimen can live with the virus for decades.

5. Despite the drops in HIV cases and deaths related to AIDS in adult, UNICEF reported that deaths in infected children between the ages of 10 and 19 from 2005 to 2013 have not fallen.

For more information on HIV/AIDS, visit the World Aids Day website here.

This article was modified from USA Today.

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