30 Years of AIDS

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 11:42 PM EDT

By John Borsa

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 11:42 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - In 30 years, fear has turned into tolerance. Medical mysteries have become scientific breakthroughs. Outrage has turned to hope.

After three decades of AIDS, HIV infects almost three million people. 33 million are living with the disease worldwide.

While AIDS is no longer the killer it once was, the stigma associated with the disease still exists. And the virus continues to infect. Today, women and young people are most at risk.

"Many times young people think they're impervious to anything whether it's having unprotected sex, driving 100 mph or experimenting with drugs. So they can't even fathom that some invisible virus might actually infect them," said Christopher Voltz of AIDS Community Services of WNY.

Last week, a historic study found that HIV-positive people who start medical treatment right away have less of a chance of spreading the disease to their partners.

And it starts with getting tested.

ACS offers free, confidential HIV rapid testing at its facility on South Elmwood Ave. in downtown Buffalo.

"We're doing great work on looking for a vaccine. We're doing great work on educating the community. But a lot more still needs to be done," said Voltz.

The 2011 AIDS Walk will take place this Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. lakeside at Delaware Park.

Go to www.aidscommunityservices.com for more information.