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No Shame About Being HIV+
About this campaign
Globally, there are an estimated 37 million people that are living with HIV and 1.2 million of them are in the United States. In 2015, 40,000 new HIV diagnoses were reported and although HIV isn’t a leading cause of death for Americans overall, it is for certain age and demographic groups. In 2014, for example, HIV was the 8th leading cause of death for those aged 25-34 and 9th for those aged 35-44.
But get this: according to the HIV Care Continuum, with data derived from the CDC, only 86 percent of the 1.2 million people living with HIV were diagnosed. To put in simply: 1 in 7 people living with HIV don't even know they are positive.
This means they're not accessing the necessary care and treatment to stay healthy and reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to their partners. Of the people who do know they're positive, only a staggering 40 percent are engaged in care, and only 30 percent are virally suppressed. But it doesn't have to be that way.
So why are there still so many people dying from HIV, afraid to access care, or even get tested? STIGMA.
The World Health Organization cites fear of stigma and discrimination as the main reason why people are reluctant to get tested, disclose their HIV status, and take antiretroviral drugs. We know how to prevent, test for, and treat HIV to keep people healthy. But stigma still stands in the way. That shouldn’t be happening in 2017.