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World AIDS Day --- December 1, 2006

December 1 marks the 19th observance of World AIDS Day. The theme for this year is "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."

At the end of 2003, an estimated 1.0--1.2 million persons in the United States were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (1). Of these, an estimated 25% were unaware of their infection, underscoring a critical need to expand HIV testing (1).

To address this need, CDC has released revised recommendations for HIV testing (2). These recommendations aim to make HIV testing a routine part of medical care and to further improve rates of HIV diagnosis among pregnant women. Earlier diagnosis of HIV infection will enable more persons to receive life-saving treatment, resulting in improved health and extended life. In addition, the majority of persons who learn they have HIV infection adopt safer behaviors, thereby reducing HIV transmission to others (3). Finally, making HIV testing a routine part of medical care might help reduce the stigma that some associate with an HIV test.

Additional information is available at http://www.worldaidscampaign.info and at http://worldaidsday2006.org. Surveillance data on HIV/AIDS for 2005 will be available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/index.htm#surveillance (4).

References

  1. Glynn M, Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003 [Abstract T1-B1101]. Presented at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA; June 12--15, 2005.
  2. CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-14):1--17.
  3. Marks G, Crepaz N, Senterfitt JW, Janssen RS. Meta-analysis of high-risk sexual behavior in persons aware and unaware they are infected with HIV in the United States: implications for HIV prevention programs. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2005;39:446--53.
  4. CDC. HIV/AIDS surveillance report, 2005. Vol. 17. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2006. In press.



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