For this week’s blog post, we’ll be discussing an intersection between Public Health and Public Safety as we observe World AIDS Day today, December 1.
First, some fast facts about HIV:
- At the end of 2014, the most recent year for which such data are available, an estimated 1,107,700 adults and adolescents were living with HIV.
- Of those, an estimated 166,000 (15%) had not been diagnosed.
- The number of new HIV diagnoses fell 19% from 2005 to 2014. Because HIV testing has remained stable or increased in recent years, this decrease in diagnoses suggests a true decline in new infections.
Although undeniable progress has been made in the fight to eradicate HIV/AIDS, the job isn’t finished; plenty more work has to be done, both domestically and abroad. If you’d like to get involved, here are ideas on how to help:
- Reach out to a local HIV service organization. Many organizations have support groups for people living with HIV and their loved ones. To find a local HIV/AIDS service organization near you, use HIV.gov’s HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator.
- Get involved in your community. To get involved in HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy, contact your local HIV service organizations and/or community health department. These groups can help identify local volunteer opportunities. You can also visit the sites listed below to search HIV-related volunteer opportunities.
- Engage with others. Social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat offer opportunities to connect with others who are interested and involved in HIV issues.
***This post was compiled using resources from hiv.gov and the CDC.
[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]