HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and does not discriminate by gender, age, sexual preference or lifestyle. This virus spreads through body fluids and affects CD4 cells (T cells) in the immune system. Over time, the HIV virus can destroy so many of these cells that the body will not be able to fight any infection or disease.
According to data reported from the Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program Division of Epidemiology as of October 31, 2019, over 49,949 people infected with HIV/AIDS have been reported in PR during the period 1981 through 31/10/2019. Of this period, about 29,488 people have died.
December 1st is World AIDS Day, let’s take this opportunity to raise awareness of this condition so that no new people are infected and celebrate for the hope of becoming an HIV-free Puerto Rico.
Did you know?
- Unprotected heterosexual contact is the most common form of new HIV cases reported annually with 36%, followed by sex among men with 30% while contagion from injecting drug use is 27%.
- Some 76.1 million people around the world have contracted HIV infection since the outbreak began.
- About 35 million people have died from AIDS-related diseases worldwide.
- No cases of infants born with HIV have been reported in Puerto Rico since 2010.
- Getting tested for HIV annually can ensure you get care quickly at diagnosis.
- Prevention is part of treatment. A person who lives with HIV and adheres to their medications helps break the virus’s chain of infection.
Educate yourself: Confidential HIV line 787.765.1010
By: Tania Mangual-Monzón, MS