Today marks World AIDS Day, and in conjunction with this year's theme
Leading with Science, Uniting for Action the CDC has
launched a national HIV campaign to help raise awareness "Testing Makes
"World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on the impact of HIV, the lessons
learned, the lives saved and lives lost," Kevin A. Fenton, MD, PhD,
FFPH, director of the CDCs National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral
Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, told Infectious Disease in
Children. "This day is a call to action to continue to build upon our
efforts to prevent
HIV. This week, in observance of World AIDS Day, CDC
published an HIV-themed Vital Signs report and launched a new,
national HIV awareness campaign."
Getting testing and treatment to those in need remains one of our
greatest challenges, Kathleen Squires, MD, immediate past
president of the HIV Medicine Association, and chair of the division of
infectious diseases at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia,
said in a press release.
According to the
CDC, The US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
(PEPFAR) and other global efforts resulted in an estimated 6.6 million people
in low-income and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral therapy for
HIV/AIDS at the end of 2010 representing the largest annual increase in
those accessing HIV treatment.
Despite these improvements, CDC officials estimate 50,000 people are
infected with HIV every year, and approximately 1.2 million in the United
States are living with HIV infection.
"HIV testing is the gateway to the most effective prevention tools we
have," Fenton said. "Physicians can offer patients HIV tests as a routine part
of medical care. For those patients who are infected, they can provide
appropriate treatment, work to retain them in care and provide prevention
services to prevent transmission of HIV."