World AIDS Day: What we’ve done, and where we’re going

This is the 25th World AIDS Day. Credit: Metro File
This is the 25th World AIDS Day.
Credit: Metro File

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, the 25th anniversary since the first commemoration in 1988. Between 1981 and 2007, more than 25 million people died from AIDS, making it one of the most severe epidemics in history. There is no vaccine and no cure, and more people in the U.S. are infected with HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, than ever before, says Dr. Celine R. Gounder, who has worked in HIV research. This is both good news and bad news.

“[It’s] partly because more people are now living with HIV, but it’s also because it continues to spread,” says Gounder, who is also an HIV/primary care clinical provider at the Spencer Cox Center for Health in Manhattan and serves on the HIV ward at New York City’s Roosevelt Hospital. The good news: “We are learning so much that a cure may be possible down the road.”

We know that stopping the spread of HIV is paramount, but it can’t be stressed enough. Transmission happens through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected intravenous drug equipment; rarely, contaminated blood transfusions have also been cited. Prevention is the first line of defense, and pre-exposure prophylaxis — a daily pill used in addition to condoms — is a new option for high-risk groups.

Improvements in the treatment of those infected include new, less toxic medications taken only once a day. But this method can lead to complacency, which remains the biggest enemy in stemming HIV infection.

“Most people don’t get tested,” says Gounder. “The CDC recommends that everyone should have at least one AIDS test in their life. Many don’t do that because of socioeconomic factors. The Affordable Care Act should help those numbers. This should be a conversation that primary care doctors have with their patients. Getting tested is easy with the rapid oral test. Using a saliva sample, it gives very accurate results in under 20 minutes.”

Rapid oral tests are quick and painless. You can find a free and confidential testing site at http://hivtest.cdc.gov.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.