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10 Things to Know About HIV/AIDS

April 2, 2019

2019 is a critical year in the AIDS fight. With The Global Fund Replenishment coming up, we have the chance to help save 16 million people from this horrible disease. Here are 10 things you need to know about HIV/AIDS:

  1. There are 37 million people currently living with HIV, and nearly 26 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. If that sounds really disproportionate, it’s because it is.
  2. Though new HIV infections have declined by half since their peak in the 90s, there were still 1.8 million people newly infected with the virus last year alone. To put that into proportion, a total of 64 people were infected by last December’s romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak.
  3. Young women are twice as likely to acquire HIV as young men. Pretty unfair, right? This alarming gap is due to poverty, gender inequality, and insufficient access to education and sexual reproductive health services.
  4. Each week, 7,000 young women between the ages of 15 and 24 are infected with HIV. That’s 1,000 women every single day infected with a preventable virus.
  5. Today, 500 babies were born with HIV. Same thing happened yesterday, the day before yesterday, and the day before that. And it’ll happen again tomorrow.
  6. Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), which cost only 20 cents a day, allow HIV positive people to live full, healthy lives. These miracle drugs reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to near zero and allow HIV+ moms to give birth to HIV-free babies.
  7. Though coverage has increased more than 3000% since 2000, there are still 15.2 million HIV+ people without access to treatment. 
  8. Close to 1 million people died last year of AIDS-related illnesses. That translates to about 2 people every minute who died of a preventable, treatable disease.
  9. AIDS-related illnesses remain among the top 10 leading causes of death among adolescents worldwide. Yet, people believe the AIDS epidemic is behind us.
  10. AIDS is treatable, preventable, and most importantly, end-able. An AIDS-free world is possible, and you have the power to help make it a reality. We’ve made so much progress in the AIDS fight over the past decade, but if we’re going to be the generation that ends AIDS for good, we need to step up our game.

The AIDS fight is currently facing a crisis, meaning we need you now more than ever before. When you join (RED), you’re a crucial part of creating the first AIDS-free generation. There are so many issues that are beyond our control, but ending AIDS isn’t one of them.

Want to learn more about (RED), the AIDS fight, and how you can get involved? Check out our other (RED)ITORIAL posts and follow @RED on social media to stay up to date! And of course, be sure to SHOP (RED) SAVE LIVES.