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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7, 2014
In the United States, more than one million people are infected with HIV, with an estimated 50,000 newly diagnosed each year. While African Americans make up only 12-14 percent of the U.S. population they account for nearly half (44 percent) of all the new HIV infections in the U.S. (CDC).

Today, as the United States observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we’d like to take a look at some of the scientific advancements made in HIV treatment. Thanks to advances in antiretroviral therapy, the AIDS-related death rate has fallen by 79 percent.

Currently, there are more than 70 medicines and vaccines in development to treat HIV/AIDS. Within the last 30 years, nearly 40 medicines have been approved to treat HIV/AIDS, according to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In addition, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are intensifying their efforts to develop vaccines that would help prevent HIV. Current estimates show that a 50 percent effective vaccine given to only a third of the population could reduce new HIV infections by nearly 25 percent within the next 15 years, according to PhRMA.

Here are some things you can do to support the eradication of HIV/AIDS in the U.S.