LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, will commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1st through dozens of free HIV awareness and testing events throughout U.S., Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Asia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 50,000 people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year and that 9 out of 10 new infections arise from people living with HIV/AIDS who are not in medical care to achieve viral suppression, including those who are unaware of their infection. The CDC also estimates that just 30% of people living with HIV/AIDS have the virus under control.
“With 50,000 new HIV infections each year in the U.S. alone and health departments reporting that casual sex and sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, we must keep reminding sexually active people about the health risks associated with having unprotected sex and the importance of using protection. We must also keep pressure on governments around the world to support condoms, testing and expanding access to medical treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Condoms help save lives and the AIDS virus does not discriminate based on race, gender, fame or fortune. The old adage holds true that it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
HIV is transmitted through the following methods:
Having sex without a condom
- HIV infection can happen through anal, vaginal or oral sex without the use of a condom. Unprotected (condom-less) oral sex is not as risky as vaginal and anal, but still can spread HIV, especially when there are cuts, bleeding gums or canker sores in the mouth. Learn more about condoms and their use.
Sharing needles, syringes or drug works
- Sharing any of the equipment to inject drugs can spread HIV.
Pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
- Without treatment, an HIV-positive woman will transmit HIV to her child during pregnancy or childbirth about 25% of the time. Babies can also become positive through breastfeeding.
A full list of AHF’s U.S. domestic and international World AIDS Day events can be accessed at ahfwad.org.
AHF Celebrates Having Over 500,000 Patients in Care Around The World
This World AIDS Day AHF is also celebrating reaching the historic milestone that, as of November 13th, the organization is providing lifesaving HIV/AIDS medical care and services to over 500,000 patients in 36 countries where it currently has operations, including South Africa, where over half its patients reside. AHF is rolling out a celebratory billboard campaign and hosting commemorative events in Los Angeles and South Florida. On December 1st at the ArcLight Hollywood Theater in Los Angeles, AHF will host a free screening of an AHF-produced film featuring highlights from AHF’s domestic and global activities that have led to the ability for AHF to provide medical care and services to over 500,000 lives in 36 countries. A similar screening will be held on December 2nd at The Classic Gateway Theater in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In addition, a newspaper ‘sticky note’ ad campaign celebrating the 500,000 benchmark will run in newspapers in Los Angeles, South Florida, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta around the observation of World AIDS Day on December 1st.
“We are now reaching over half-a-million men, women and children with lifesaving medical care in thirty-six countries around the world—a remarkable accomplishment that only a great team of patients, medical providers, staff and volunteers could have made possible,” continued Weinstein. “500,000 patients in care is one of the greatest accomplishments in the 28-year history of AHF. Just two years ago, we celebrated 250,000 patients in care. To now reach over twice that number of lives is incredible. We celebrate today, and as we carry on, I am confident that the leadership of AHF’s domestic and global programs has the capability, and the will, to take us to one million lives in care over the next five years.”
AHF provides medical care and services in nearly 300 global clinics in 35 other countries including:
In addition, AHF operates 49 free HIV/AIDS healthcare centers in 14 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Washington [state] and Washington, D.C.).
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 500,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.