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HIV/AIDS rates down worldwide

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A press release from the United Nations revealed that rates for the sexually transmitted diseases are down 33 percent worldwide since 2001. Due to a stronger push for STD testing and treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immune deficiency virus worldwide, UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, has been able to drastically lower the number of new infections.

Reducing HIV and AIDS worldwide
Progress against the diseases with cooperation from nations worldwide has brought antiretroviral treatment to millions of people around the world. In 2012, UNAIDS declared a goal of bringing these treatments to 15 million people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS in countries all over the world by 2015. By the end of 2012, nearly 10 million people were receiving these treatments with a possibility of treating more than the set goal by the end of 2013, according to a UNAIDS press release.

"Not only can we meet the 2015 target of 15 million people on HIV treatment - we must also go beyond and have the vision and commitment to ensure no one is left behind," said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS.

As new evidence arises showing the benefits of antiretroviral therapies for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS through STD tests, the World Health Organization set new goals to treat an additional 10 million people than planned by the UN. Awareness efforts to use sexual protection to reduce new infections has been successful, as well as the new medical practices.

The rates of children infected with HIV/AIDS has gone down by more than 50 percent since renewed efforts began to reduce the spread of the disease in 2001. The new antiretroviral therapies have been proven to drastically reduce the number of children who are infected with HIV from their mothers during pregnancy.

The number of people in low- and middle-income countries receiving these new treatments has gone up significantly in 2012 alone, with an increase of 20 percent. With raised domestic funding for fighting HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS reported that new services were available to many more people than before.

HIV/AIDS in America
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there are more than an estimated 1.1 million people living with with HIV or AIDS in the U.S. Approximately 18 percent of the people with the disease are projected to be unaware of their infection, which can lead to far greater spreading of the disease.

Both HIV and AIDS cause the immune system to falter, which makes those with the disease more vulnerable to other infections. HIV is the preliminary infection, which can be treated with some amount of success with antiretroviral therapy. While there is no cure for the infection, treatments can lead to longer lives with a higher function of living. If left untreated, HIV progresses to AIDS, which is more aggressive and resistant to treatments.

In 2011, nearly 50,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. More than 30,000 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Since people began being infected with AIDS, more than 1.5 million people have been diagnosed in the U.S.

Early HIV can be asymptomatic for several years, but it can still be passed through sex and other activities in which blood and sexual fluids are exchanged. Those seeking a diagnosis for their HIV or AIDS status may want to consider an anonymous STD test through a lab test online. These tests can provide a diagnosis for HIV, AIDS and other, more common STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea. These tests provide a level of discretion that can set patients' minds at ease.

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