World AIDS Day: A Look at the Numbers

Today marks the 23rd annual World AIDS Day, an opportunity to bring global awareness to the fight against HIV/AIDS. 34 million people are living with AIDS across the world. One of the major goals of World AIDS Day is to highlight strategies that will reduce the rates of new infections and continue to provide research, prevention strategies and access to medical treatment to reduce AIDS related deaths both here and abroad.

As we commemorate World AIDS Day, here are some facts and figures you need to know:

1981

First diagnosis in U. S.

In 1981, the first diagnosed cases of what is now known as AIDS hit the United States. Since then, an estimated 1.7 million have been infected, and 600,000 have died. It is estimated that 1.1 million are currently living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

50,000

New cases each year in U.S

In the United States, the numbers of new infections has dropped since its all time high in the 1980s, yet 50,000 still become infected each year. One of the goals of World AIDS Day campaign is to bring about no new infections by the year 2015.

The face of HIV/AIDS has morphed and changed since the 1980s, when the majority of new infections were contracted by gay men. In 2010 in the U.S. the majority of new diagnoses were reported to be through heterosexual transmission. And while men who have sex with men (MSMs) still represent the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, worldwide, women represent the majority of people living with AIDS.

 Find out which celebrities have battled HIV/AIDS in the public spotlight.

7,000

New infections per day worldwide

New HIV/AIDS infections are on the decline, with a drop of 20 percent since the all time high in 1997. Yet, in 2010, worldwide there were nearly 2.7 million new infections. Each day over 7,000 people are newly infected.

Globally, the highest rates of infection are in sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, the largest percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is in Washington, DC. The Center for Disease and Control reports that seven out of the top ten cities with people living with HIV/AIDS are in the South.

Learn how to reduce your risk of contracting HIV and AIDS.

NEXT: Number of Deaths Since 1981 >>

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