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Why It’s Important To Keep Fighting HIV/AIDS

Letter to the Editor

Be part of us in ongoing battle in opposition to HIV/AIDS

Once I joined IC RED in 2019 — a College of Iowa scholar group devoted to elevating consciousness, erasing stigmas, and defeating HIV/AIDS — I knew I had joined the appropriate group the place I may use my voice to make a big effect.

As a world well being research main, I used to be uncovered to the gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its tragic historical past on humanity. Now, I’m honored to lead IC RED to provoke conversations about HIV/AIDS that try to enhance schooling, determine assets, and promote prevention by means of sexual well being and security.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, it appeared like each well being care-related difficulty was overshadowed, together with the prevailing HIV/AIDs pandemic. Nonetheless, because the world begins to open up and life resumes to normalcy, it’s important now greater than ever to return the main target again to HIV/AIDs.

The HIV/AIDs pandemic rages on with greater than 1.5 million new HIV infections and 680,000 AIDs-related deaths in 2020 alone, in accordance to UNAIDS. UNAIDS additionally studies that, as of 2020, roughly 36.7 million individuals lived with HIV/AIDS worldwide. In the USA, an estimated 1.3 million persons are contaminated, with about 13% of individuals unaware of their standing as a result of they’re going undiagnosed due to a scarcity of entry to testing companies, and the five-year asymptomatic interval of HIV.

In Iowa, there are greater than 3,000 individuals at present dwelling with HIV/AIDS, in accordance to the Iowa Division of Public Well being. And the 2015 outbreak in Scott County, Indiana — with a inhabitants of simply 24,000 — is a devastating reminder that that is nonetheless a public well being emergency.

Whereas there nonetheless isn’t any treatment for HIV/AIDS, international an infection charges have dropped dramatically thanks to elevated information in regards to the sickness and schooling. This progress encourages us to proceed with two of our principal targets: elevating consciousness and erasing stigmas.

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The extra open and sincere dialog that happens about the issue, the extra progress is made. All individuals, regardless of if you’re an “in danger” inhabitants, have the appropriate to pay attention to preventative, diagnostic and remedy assets.

On the thirty third anniversary of the primary World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, IC RED is devoted to re-focusing consideration on the HIV/AIDs pandemic. This week, IC RED is internet hosting RED Week, every week of occasions in commemoration of World AIDS Day. Neighborhood members are inspired to take part within the vary of occasions throughout this week. A full schedule might be discovered on our Fb web page.

Analysis is funded when there’s a push for a treatment. Consciousness and schooling are important for this difficulty to acquire consideration and enhance well being outcomes. As progress continues, we transfer towards our third and ultimate aim as a company: to defeat HIV/AIDS.

I encourage you to begin speaking, keep speaking, know your standing, and be part of us in IC RED Week in our battle to defeat HIV and AIDs.

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-Sarah Luke, North Liberty, president IC RED 2020-2021

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