Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness and improving education. Today, DoSomething.org wants to remind you that HIV has not gone away.
HIV/AIDS has been a global epidemic for more than 25 years. Your generation has never known a world without it.
- In the United States, the estimates indicate that more than 1 million people are living with HIV or AIDS.
- In 2007, 37,041 new AIDS disease cases were reported.
- In 2006, an estimated 56,300 new HIV infections occurred—much higher than the previous estimate of 40,000 new infections annually. This means that more people are infected with HIV than we originally thought.
- Around half of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 25.
- Blacks/African Americans age 13 to 19 represent only 17% of the U.S. teenage population, but accounted for 72% of new AIDS cases in 2007.
- Close to one-quarter of the people in the United States who are infected with HIV do not know they are infected.
Marvelyn Brown, a 2009 Do Something award winner, can attest to the reality of these statistics all too well. Marvelyn was diagnosed with HIV at age 19. When she contracted the virus, she also got the stigma that came along with it -- even her family made her use paper plates and plastic forks! Instead of letting this break her, for the past six years Marvelyn has been using her experiences to educate young people about the disease and the stereotypes that persist 30 years after HIV/AIDS was first reported.
“We exist in a world where we continue to define the disease as only affecting people with a certain look or belonging to a certain socioeconomic group. I’m living proof that nothing is farther from the truth.”
This World AIDS Day, Marvelyn is embarking on a six city Marvelous Connections tour thru much of December:
- 11/30: Baltimore Public Schools in Maryland @ 9am
- 12/1: Ellington High School in Washington D.C. @ 10am
- 12/2: Colgate University in Hamilton, NY @ 7pm
- 12/3: Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA @ 7:30pm
- 12/5: Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY @ 3pm
Marvelyn not making a stop in your neck of the woods? No matter where you are, you can get tested!
All 50 states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow minors to consent to STD services.
Education starts with you! To find a testing site center near you, visit hivtest.org or text your zip code to Know It (566948). Testing can be done with a cotton swab and may be anonymous.