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10 facts about HIV that may surprise you

Joe Williams December 1, 2015

To celebrate World AIDS Day 2015, PinkNews shares some important facts about HIV.

World AIDS Day is an annual opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV.

The National AIDS Trust is urging people to show their support for people living with HIV, as well as taking the chance to commemorate people who have died.

Historically, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

This World AIDS Day, the NAT is challenging people to rethink outdated stereotypes, challenge myths and be positive about HIV, with their “Think Positive: Rethink HIV” campaign.

The trust says it wants to use the day to “tell the truth” about HIV, fight the ongoing stigma that still exists and encourage people to spread the facts regarding the virus.

While treatment and understanding has moved forward, activists say that many still do not understand the facts surrounding treatment, contraction and prevention of HIV.

In research recently carried out by HIV and sexual health charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, those living with the condition revealed the most common words they hear to describe their status.

When they were asked what words they had heard people used when speaking about HIV, which they found particularly hurtful, the top four results were “disgusting”, “promiscuous”, “dirty” and “deserved”.

Here PinkNews list some important facts about HIV that may seem glaringly obvious to some, but sadly still shock and surprise many.

1 There are three main ways to get HIV – unprotected sex (95%), sharing needles and mother-to-child transmission

2 85% of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK are not infectious

3 In the UK only 0.3% of people with HIV develop AIDS and even then they can recover and go back to only having HIV

4 People living with HIV who are on effective treatment can expect a normal life expectancy

5 Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK

6 Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus.

7 Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS

8 Each year in the UK around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV

9 Approximately 18,100 (17%) people living with HIV in the UK are unaware of their HIV infection and have not yet been diagnosed

10 In 2014 less than 1% of people with HIV died

Find out more facts about World AIDS Day here.

More: 2015, AIDS, facts, HIV, The National AIDS Trust, world aids day

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