There was a time when AIDS was at the forefront of news stories and on everyone’s mind. AIDS, a late stage of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), proved to be one of the most destructive pandemics in history, and while many discoveries have been made in the medical field over the years to treat symptoms, the difficulty in finding an all-out cure remains. Still, there is hope for those affected with AIDS – medications, for example, that help improve quality and length of life – but learning how to prevent the disease is vital. Each year, World AIDS Day is observed on December 1, a reminder that the right against the disease is a year-round battle.
Raising AIDS Awareness Through Action and Education.
According to UNICEF, it has been estimated that as of 2016 an estimated 36.7* million people were living with HIV worldwide. Of these, 2.1 million were children under 15, and about 18.8 million were women and girls. Each day, approximately 5,000 people contracted HIV and approximately 2,800 people died from AIDS, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention care and treatment services, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. This region of Africa accounts for the vast majority of the world’s people living with AIDS, new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths. In 2016, nearly three times as many adolescent girls (15-19) were newly infected with HIV than boys in the same age group.
The public can continue raising AIDS awareness by educating others on causes and risks. They can also get tested and encourage their friends and family to do the same: the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13-64 get tested at least once for HIV. Spread the knowledge, or direct people to organizations that can help. The more the younger generations around the world know about AIDS, the more widespread the message of prevention can be.
Anyone looking to play an even more proactive role in combatting the disease may also be thinking about a career in the healthcare industry – one where they can be on the front lines in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Patient care technicians, medical assistants, nursing aides, Practical Nurses, coding and billing professionals, and office assistants all support doctors, nurses and patients – and you can enter many of these fields in less than two years with the right training.
If you’re interested in joining the fight against AIDS in a role as a healthcare professional or administrator, explore career training programs that can help you get started. On World AIDS Day this year, take a stand against this disease and learn how you can help to eradicate the disease.