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World AIDS Day --- December 1, 2007

December 1 marks the 20th observance of World AIDS Day, an annual worldwide event established to increase awareness and education regarding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In 2007, an estimated 33.2 million persons worldwide are living with HIV; the number of deaths from AIDS in 2007 is expected to total 2.1 million (1). In the United States, an estimated 1 million persons were living with HIV in 2003 (2); of these, approximately 25% were unaware of their infection and thus were at high risk for infecting others.

HIV testing remains a crucial component of HIV prevention strategies. Persons who know they are infected with HIV can seek health care and protect their partners from becoming infected. In 2006, CDC issued new guidelines recommending routine HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings in the United States (3). In addition, CDC recently provided funding to increase testing among populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Additional information regarding World AIDS Day and HIV prevention measures is available at http://www.cdc.gov/features/worldaidsday and http://www.cdc.gov/hiv.

References

  1. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Health Organization (WHO). 2007 AIDS epidemic update. Geneva, Switzerland: UNAIDS/WHO; 2007. Available at http://data.unaids.org/pub/epislides/2007/2007_epiupdate_en.pdf.
  2. Glynn M, Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003 [Abstract T1-B1101]. Programs and abstracts of the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference; June 12--15, 2005; Atlanta, GA. Available at http://www.aegis.com/conferences/nhivpc/2005/t1-b1101.html.
  3. CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-14).



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