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December is National HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

aids-awarenessEvery December 1, the world observes World AIDS Day. Thirty five years after the first cases were reported, we have more tools than ever before to fight HIV, but there is a narrow window within which we can accelerate progress towards an AIDS-free generation. Countries are working to achieve the UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets, which call for 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent of those diagnosed to start and stay on antiretroviral treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment to have a suppressed viral load by 2020 with a goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

Globally, there are nearly 37 million people living with HIV. In 2015, more than 1 million people died from AIDS-related causes and over 2 million people were newly infected by HIV. Together we can stop HIV – one conversation at a time.

Why talking about HIV is important:

  • Talking about HIV helps those we care about learn the facts, including how to protect themselves.
  • Research studies have shown that talking about HIV is associated with more knowledge about HIV prevention, more condom use, and increased HIV testing, all of which are associated with fewer new infections. Why we should talk more openly about HIV
  • HIV affects more Latinos than we think.
  • Anyone can get HIV regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, or whether they are in a relationship. • Every conversation we have about HIV can help reduce stigma and misconceptions.
  • Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV among Latinos.

HIV affects more Latinos than we think. Did you know…

  • More than 220,000 Latinos in the United States are living with HIV.
  • In 2011, 22% of new HIV infections in the United States occurred among Latinos.
  • At some point in their lives, an estimated 1 in 36 Latino men and 1 in 106 Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV.

Learn the facts before you start your conversation. It’s important to share truthful, useful, and accurate information about HIV when you talk to your family members and friends. For more information about HIV including facts and tips on how to start your conversation, visit

In the meantime, consider these facts:oneconversation_campaignmaterials_inline_rectangle_peera_eng_static

  • More than 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States.
  • The only way to know whether you have HIV is to get tested.
  • HIV cannot be spread by casual contact like hugging or shaking hands.

Start the conversation

Talking about HIV may be uncomfortable and can feel embarrassing at first. Talking openly and regularly about it can help make these conversations easier. Try opening the conversation with an interesting fact or by mentioning something you recently saw, read or heard about HIV. Most importantly, be honest and sincere. You may not know all the answers, but you can offer to learn about them together.

Continue the conversations

Talk about HIV more than one time and with more than one person. Use these conversations as an opportunity to figure out anything that might prevent your friends and family members from protecting themselves against HIV. Correct any myths they have by sharing the facts you’ve learned. Remember, we can stop HIV one conversation at a time.