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Twenty-five years after the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS and twenty years after the initial commemoration of World AIDS day, we are fortunate that the scientific community has rallied to discover much about the lifestyle of HIV, and in doing so, develop a host of effective medicines against HIV. In Western countries, HIV-AIDS has changed from a nearly universally fatal illness to a manageable, chronic disease. However, much work remains, as the successful implementation of either a vaccine or a cure for HIV-AIDS continues to be elusive.
Why is this so important? According to UNAIDS, there are approximately 33.2 million people living with AIDS. Of those with AIDS, approximately 2.1 million are children. Last year alone, 2 million adults and 250,000 children died from AIDS, staggering numbers considering that HIV is both preventable and treatable. When we consider that roughly two-thirds of all cases of HIV are in poverty-stricken Sub-Saharan Africa (where HIV prevalence rates vary from 5 to 25%), we can begin to understand why so many people are dying from AIDS.
In honor of World AIDS Day 2008, Fluther is wearing red.
What can you do? Pledge your leadership online, or get involved in local, national or international HIV-AIDS advocacy groups. This is a global problem, requiring a global response!
Written in collaboration with lefteh.