World AIDS Day raises awareness about HIV

DAYTON, OHIO—In recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1, Wright State Physicians is encouraging people to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Worldwide, about 37 million people live with HIV. In the United States, about 37,600 people get infected with HIV each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice and improve education about HIV and AIDS.

Doctors at Wright State Physicians say the only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. “People can have HIV, yet still feel healthy,” said Robert L. Brandt, Jr., M.D., a physician with Wright State Physicians, who is credentialed by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV/AIDS specialist. “We recommend that everyone ages 15 to 65 get tested for HIV at least once.”

To find an HIV testing location, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948) or use this online locator.

HIV is passed from one person to another by having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV; sharing needles with someone who has HIV; breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV; or getting a transfusion of blood that’s infected with HIV, which is very rare in the United States.

“We are encouraging people to talk to their physician about their risks for contracting HIV and how HIV can be prevented by taking daily medication,” said Brandt, who also is a clinical professor of family medicine at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, where he teaches medical students about primary care and HIV/AIDS medicine. “We also encourage parents to talk to their kids about HIV prevention and safe sex.”

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