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The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the disease it causes (AIDS) are seldom in headlines any more. That’s because in recent years, the news about HIV and AIDS has been mostly encouraging, at least in the United States. The number of people getting infected with HIV has not increased. The death rate from AIDS has dropped. And, thanks to new types of medicines, HIV infection can now be treated and controlled. Still, HIV remains something that everyone needs to think about. About 56,000 people still become infected with HIV every year in the United States, where more than a million people are already infected. Most importantly, about one out of every five of these people don’t know they are infected. Why? Because they don’t feel sick, or they have never been tested for HIV.

That’s a big problem, because if people don’t know they have HIV, they could spread it to others, including their loved ones. Also, if you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take advantage of the medicines now available that may help you remain healthy.

It’s important to remember that HIV can affect anyone: men, women, gay, straight, young or old. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women account for one of every four new HIV infections. And one of every three new infections is the result of sex between a man and a woman.

That’s why everyone should take precautions against getting or transmitting HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases. Everyone should also get tested for HIV. It’s easy and quick. The CDC suggests that screening for HIV should be a regular part of everyone’s medical care.

Learn more about HIV/AIDS in the below video:

More about HIV/AIDS:

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