Did you know that the term AIDS wasn’t used until 1982? When the New York Times first published an article about the spreading virus, no one could’ve guessed the enormity of the disease. For the past three decades, the virus has demanded our attention – over 60 million people have either contracted it or died from it. Below are ten facts we’ve compiled about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and AIDS, the late stage infection.
- Over 95% of people living with HIV live in developing countries.
- 33.4 million people today have been infected by HIV/AIDS.
- In Africa, the average life expectancy is 47 years. Without AIDS it would be 62.
- In Uganda, girls ages 15-24 are 4x more likely to contract HIV than boys.
- Most people living with the virus can’t access treatment (World Health Organization).
- Nearly a quarter of people living with HIV/AIDS are unaware they have it.
- Over 1 million people in the US have HIV/AIDS, 46% are African American.
- When a person contracts HIV, their immune system weakens. This makes it much harder for the body to fight off other illnesses and is a sign that AIDS is appearing.
- Over 12 million children in Africa have been orphaned due to AIDS.
- There is no cure for HIV/AIDS; antiretroviral drugs can only improve and strengthen the patient’s immune system, not cure the disease.