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HIV, AIDS, and the Future

The Washington Monument

Photo: The NAMES Project Foundation

HIV and AIDS are a global catastrophe. While advances in testing and treatment can now often turn these killers into chronic diseases, they continue to take a staggering toll on our nation and the world. There are ways for you to protect yourself and your loved ones from HIV/AIDS.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt

In 1987, a total of 1,920 AIDS quilt panels were first displayed in the nation's capital, near the Washington Monument. Today, the Quilt includes more than 47,000 panels, representing over 91,000 people, and it continues to grow.

—Courtesy The NAMES Project Foundation

Fast Facts

  • The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was identified in 1983 as the biological agent responsible for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • The U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic began in 1981 and continues to disproportionately affect (1) minorities, (2) men who have sex with men (all races), (3) women, and (4) youth.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 15 percent of new HIV infections occur among those older than 50, a group that is expected to account for the majority of HIV patients by 2015.
  • More than 1 million people in the U.S. currently are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • 21 percent of those in the U.S. infected with HIV are unaware of their infection.
  • There is no cure or vaccine to prevent HIV/AIDS, but early detection through HIV testing and treatment can frequently turn this fatal disease into a manageable chronic disease.

To Find Out More

For information and resources, search for "HIV" on these Web sites:

Summer 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 3 Page 10