World AIDS day promotes awareness of the disease

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – World AIDS Day is December 1st and has been recognized since 1988 and is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS and the fact that it is caused by the spread of HIV infection.

This year’s theme is “Leadership, Commitment, and Impact”.

It is also a day for remembering all of the people those who have lost a life because of the disease.

HIV is a viral infection that affects the immune system. AIDS is something that develops after the infection has been in the system for a period of time and goes untreated.

Kelley Honeycutt is a Retention Specialist with the ETSU Center of Excellence for HIV and Aids said, “If you think you are at risk or if you are unsure if you are at risk, the most important thing to do is to contact your health care provider or the health department and they can help you decide whether or not you are a candidate to be tested for HIV.”

Statistics show that deaths associated with HIV and AIDS have decreased approximately twenty percent since 2014.

Honeycutt said that is primarily due to advancement in technology and the easier regimens and less toxic drugs.

Organizations and individuals around the world observe the day and offer education on AIDS prevention and control.

Wearing a red ribbon shows is a way to show support and raise awareness of the disease.

According to, as of 2013 approximately 35.3 million people around the world are living with HIV, including more than 1.2 million Americans.

Copyright 2016 WJHL.  All rights reserved.

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