Did you know that every week, 7,000 young women around the world contract HIV? That means a new young woman is affected every two minutes by HIV. Also, women between ages 10-24 are twice as likely to contract HIV as males within the same age group. Many people know that HIV is a worldwide epidemic but are unaware of the detrimental impact it continuously bestows on females. That's why we at Nylon Pink are taking a stand today to #MakeHIVHistory.
What is HIV?
It's quite shocking that such a tremendously powerful and dangerous disease has only three letters. However, don't let quantity fool you. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. What makes this disease so deadly is that it can lead to a more severe version of the disease called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, better known as AIDS. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for HIV, meaning once you contract the disease, you have it for the rest of your life.
To learn more about the basics of the disease, check out this link.
Are There Treatments for HIV?
Fortunately, people who are HIV positive receive treatments called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. These treatments are extremely effective if taken correctly and properly regimented. Sometimes, treatments can prolong an HIV positive person's life to the same length as someone who has not contracted the virus if diagnosed and treated early on.
Also, Johnson & Johnson has developed a possible HIV vaccine, which they will proudly announce at this year's Global Citizen Festival. Read more about it in the video below.
How Can I Help?
Even after 30 years since its conception, HIV is still prevalent in our society. 30% of people globally who are HIV positive don’t even know they have it. The vast majority of people who are HIV positive reside in low- and middle- income countries, with an estimated 25.5 million living in sub-Saharan Africa. Among this group, 19.4 million are living in East and Southern Africa, which saw 44% of new HIV infections globally in 2016.
These staggering facts are intimidating but not well known. In order to help prevent this disease from spreading, we need to help share these facts and spread the word.
You can help by creating and sharing a short 15 second video on Johnson & Johnson's Make HIV History Page like the one I've made below.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.