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General Health : Government Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Celebrate Life: World AIDS Day 2008
Dec 1, 2008 - 8:25:55 AM

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Photo: Hands holding a globe December 1 is World AIDS Day; a time to celebrate the many lives saved by HIV prevention and treatment programs. It also serves as a reminder that we all must do more—as individuals, communities, and as world citizens—to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS.


Photo: RibbonAround the world, 33 million people are living with HIV with nearly 7,500 new infections occurring each day. An estimated 3 million people are now receiving antiretroviral treatment in low and middle-income countries.

In the United States, CDC estimates that about 1.1 million people are living with HIV. These numbers will most likely increase over time, as antiretroviral drug treatments extend the lives of those with HIV and more people become HIV infected. As expected, as the number of people living with HIV grows, so does the opportunity for those with HIV to pass on the virus to others. 

Protecting Health

CDC currently estimates that approximately one in five persons living with HIV in the United States is unaware of his or her infection and may be unknowingly transmitting the virus to others. Since anyone can be at risk for HIV, CDC recommends that adults and adolescents between the ages of 13 and 64 years of age be routinely screened for HIV infection in healthcare settings. Pregnant women in the U.S. should be screened for HIV infection as part of their routine prenatal testing.

Once tested, individuals can take steps to protect their health or, if infected, they can gain access to health-sustaining treatments and care, and help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

On this World AIDS Day 2008, we all need to commit to expanding the reach of effective prevention efforts to those at risk and those living with HIV in order to stop the further spread of HIV in the United States.

What Can You Do?

Wherever your work, or whatever you do, you can join CDC and its partners in supporting World AIDS Day. Your support will help end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Individuals can: World AIDS Day. Take the test. Take control.

  • Get tested for HIV. To find a testing site center near you, visit or, on your cell phone, text your zip code to Know IT (566948).
  • Participate in the Facing AIDS campaign. Take a picture of yourself wearing a red ribbon and add the photo to the "World AIDS Day 08" Flickr group*, your social network profiles, Twitter, blog, and/or Web site before December 1. Leave it up for at least a week.
  • Stand up against stigma, racism, and other forms of discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Donate time and money to HIV/AIDS organizations.

Organizations are encouraged to: Photo: A young man looking at a globe

  • Promote World AIDS Day in your organization. Useful materials are available at
  • Encourage employees to get involved in World AIDS Day.
  • Educate staff about HIV/AIDS.
  • Develop HIV/AIDS policies for the workplace.

November 28, 2008 / 57(47);1273

November 28, 2008 / 57(47);1273

World AIDS Day --- December 1, 2008

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Begun in 1998, World AIDS Day draws attention to the current status of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, in 2007, approximately 33 million persons worldwide were living with HIV, 2.7 million were newly infected, and 2 million died from AIDS-related causes (1).

In 2006, an estimated 1.1 million persons in the United States were living with HIV (2), and 56,300 were newly infected (3). HIV infection in the United States disproportionately affects blacks, Hispanics, and men (of all races/ethnicities) who have sex with men (2--4). During 2006, the rates of new infections in the United States were estimated to be 83.8 per 100,000 population among blacks, 29.4 per 100,000 among Hispanics, and 11.5 per 100,000 among whites (3).

Information about World AIDS Day is available at Information about CDC's international HIV/AIDS program is available at Information about CDC's domestic HIV/AIDS program is available at

   1. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Report on the global AIDS epidemic, 2008. Available at
   2. CDC. HIV prevalence estimates---United States, 2006. MMWR 2008;57:1073--6.
   3. Hall HI, Song R, Rhodes P, et al; HIV Incidence Surveillance Group. Estimation of HIV incidence in the United States. JAMA 2008;300:520--9.
   4. Hall HI, An Q, Hutchinson AB, Sansom S. Estimating the lifetime risk of a diagnosis of the HIV infection in 33 states, 2004--2005. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2008;49:294--7.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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