December 1st is an annual opportunity to bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, that’s still an ongoing public health crisis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said approximately 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. Reportedly 1 in 7 people do not know they are infected. Which means, these individuals could unknowingly spread the virus to others.
Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health said 1 out of 4 new HIV infections are among young people between 13-24 years old.
“We encourage everyone to follow these essential steps to help end the epidemic,” Burstein said.
Knowing your HIV status by getting tested and practicing safe sex are ways to prevent yourself from getting infected.
Some doctors say, if you’re HIV negative and at high risk for getting HIV, consider taking PrEP(Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).
Experts say talking to your children about HIV prevention and the stigma surrounding the disease could help young people make better choices when it comes to practicing safe sex.
New York State is making an effort to end the HIV/AIDS Epidemic by the year 2020, with a three-point plan.
1. Identify persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and link them to health care.
2. Ensure and support persons with HIV remain in care to maximize virus suppression.
3. Keep people HIV negative by providing access to PrEP.
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