World AIDS Day – December 1st

December 1st, 2017

In 2016, about 36.7 million people were living with HIV and it resulted in 1 million deaths. There were 300,000 fewer new HIV cases in 2016 than in 2015. Most of those infected live in sub-Saharan Africa. In the time since its discovery unto the year 2014, AIDS has caused an estimated 39 million deaths worldwide. HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic – a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading. HIV is believed to have originated in west-central Africa during the late 19th or early 20th century. AIDS was first recognized by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause – HIV infection – was identified in the early part of the decade.
HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has large economic impacts. There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has become subject to many controversies involving religion including the Catholic Church’s position not to support condom use as prevention. It has attracted international medical and political attention as well as large-scale funding since it was identified in the 1980s.