World AIDS Day
Photograph by David Snyder/CDC Foundation
Our Global Response
More than two-thirds of the estimated 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are in developing countries, and nearly three-fourths of the 2.5 million new HIV infections in 2011 occurred in these countries. As a science-based public health and disease prevention agency, CDC provides support to more than 70 countries to strengthen their national HIV/AIDS programs and build sustainable public health systems through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). CDC works side by side with Ministries of Health in these countries and with other partners to implement sustainable HIV/AIDS interventions and to measure their effectiveness in reducing infections and deaths from HIV/AIDS.
Recent scientific advances offer a historic opportunity to dramatically drive down the rate of new HIV infections and virtually eliminate infections in babies. CDC is focusing its global HIV/AIDS efforts on reducing new HIV infections using a combination of proven prevention tools: preventing mother-to-child transmission, voluntary medical male circumcision, and scaling up treatment of HIV-positive people (“treatment as prevention”). When used along with HIV testing and counseling, condoms, and other prevention tools, these interventions put us on a plausible path for eliminating new infections.
- Preventing mother-to-child transmission. Identifying HIV-positive pregnant women and treating them with antiretroviral drugs is very effective in eliminating new pediatric infections. CDC, through PEPFAR, helped reach more than 660,000 HIV-positive pregnant women with antiretroviral drugs in fiscal year 2011 (October 2010-September 2011), saving the lives of approximately 200,000 babies, and reached an additional 370,000 HIV-positive pregnant women in the first half of fiscal year 2012 (through March 2012).
- Voluntary medical male circumcision. Medical male circumcision is a one-time intervention with a lifelong benefit. This low-cost procedure reduces the risk that women with HIV will transmit the virus to HIV-negative men by more than 60%. HIV-negative women also benefit from the lower rate of infections. CDC, through PEPFAR, helped support more than 400,000 male circumcisions in the first half of fiscal year 2012 (October 2011-March 2012).
- Scaling up treatment of HIV-positive people (“treatment as prevention”). Recent science (HIV Prevention Trials Network–HPTN 052 [PDF - 275KB]) has shown that when people are HIV-positive, treatment with antiretroviral drugs helps prevent the transmission of HIV to others. Effective treatment of a person living with HIV reduces the risk of sexual transmission to a partner by up to 96%. As of March 2012, CDC, through PEPFAR, helped support nearly 4.5 million men, women, and children on treatment.
Building on Global Success by Saving Lives at Home
Promising international research like that from the HIV Prevention Trials Network also supports the use of treatment as prevention in the United States, where more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV and approximately 50,000 more become infected each year.
A key component of getting people into treatment is getting them tested. Testing is the only way to identify the nearly 210,000 Americans currently living with HIV who do not know they are infected—that’s almost 1 in 5 of all Americans with HIV. HIV testing and diagnosis are the first steps toward connecting people to treatment that can keep people healthy and prevent the spread of HIV to their partners.
CDC’s High-Impact HIV Prevention [PDF - 258KB] strategy aims to reduce new HIV infections by using combinations of scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions directed to the most vulnerable populations in the geographic areas where HIV prevalence is highest. For example, young gay and bisexual men, especially young African American and Latino men who have sex with men, have high rates of new HIV infections.
- In 2009, about 2 in 5 of all new infections occurred in people aged 13 to 29.
- About 19,000 people aged 13 to 29 were infected in 2009.
In the United States, stigma, fear, and discrimination remain barriers to accessing testing and treatment. CDC’s new domestic campaign, Let’s Stop HIV Together, takes on stigma by showing people living with HIV, embraced by their friends, family, and partners. Through print and online ads, billboards, and videos at a website, campaign participants spread the message that they are more than their HIV status. They are living positive and productive lives and urging others to get tested and learn more about HIV.
World AIDS Day
On World AIDS Day, we pay tribute to the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and around the world, and commemorate those who have died. We recognize that HIV testing and linkage to care can save lives, and we are working to build on those successes. Through continued commitment to worldwide research and prevention efforts, we can achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation and prevent transmission of the virus to millions of people.
- CDC Global HIV/AIDS homepage
- CDC Global HIV/AIDS milestones
- U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
- CDC fact sheets:
- National HIV and STD Testing Resources
Find an HIV test site near you from National HIV and STDTesting Resources, a CDC-sponsored service available 24 hours a day.
- Recursos nacionales para las pruebas del VIH y las ETS
Encontrar un sitio de prueba cerca de usted, un servicio de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades
- Act Against AIDS
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