HIV/AIDS Awareness: The Basics

Since 1988, every Dec. 1 has been designated World AIDS Day, an international event dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

As of 2021, more than 700,000 Americans have died from HIV-related illnesses, and more than 35,000 people are diagnosed with HIV every year. It's estimated that more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States, though as many as 13 percent may not know they've contracted the virus.

In the U.S., December is recognized as HIV/AIDS Awareness Month. The month-long campaign is intended to raise awareness of the global AIDS epidemic and the spread of HIV, commemorate the people who have died, celebrate the victories of innovative treatments and prevention services, and encourage the importance of getting tested.

Our articles this month discuss the status of HIV/AIDS today, including diagnosis and treatment. We'll take a look at what it's really like to live with HIV and AIDS in 2022, and what the future holds.

Human immunodeficiency virus is no longer a death sentence, but it's not solved entirely.
Treating patients used to be like hospice work. Not anymore. Most live without fear of death.
Living and loving with HIV: One woman's story of overcoming challenges and stigma.
Continuing to improve care and awareness of the virus requires a mix of optimism and realism.