The Fight Against AIDS, Then and Now

Medically Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan, MD on November 19, 2022
1 min read

Dec. 1 marks World AIDS Day, which was started in 1988 to raise awareness, show support for those living with the condition, and remember those who have died from it. Fortunately, much has changed since the early days of HIV/AIDS. Today, thanks to advances in medicine, it’s possible to live a healthy and full life with a disease that used to mean a death sentence. Here's a look at the progress we’ve made in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. In the U.S., HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men, young adults, racial and ethnic minorities, and people in the Southern states. There are 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, and 1 in 7 people don't know they're infected. Globally, about 38.4 million people are living with HIV (including 1.7 million children). About 28.5 million are in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

Get tested and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Find an HIV testing site here.

Raise awareness. Find posters, images, and banners that you can download and share on social media here.

Wear a red ribbon -- the internationally recognized symbol for AIDS awareness -- to show support and solidarity.