Maine CDC Press Release
December 1, 2017
Maine CDC Highlights the Importance of World AIDS Day 2017
AUGUSTA – December 1 is World Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Day. The first World AIDS Day was celebrated in 1988 and continues today with its original purpose of raising awareness of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS while remembering those who have lost their lives to the disease. There were about 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV at the end of 2016. It is estimated that 1.1 million people in the United States are now living with HIV, and one in seven don't know their status. Maine has about 1,680 people living with diagnosed HIV, and 30 new diagnoses have been identified in 2017 through September 30.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) continues to support prevention and care programs with goals of identifying new infections, linking HIV positive people to healthcare, and achieving lowered levels of the HIV virus to reduce the spread of infection, as well as the overall lifetime impact of the disease. New approaches such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (lowering the level of HIV virus particles in a person's blood through treatment, whereby reducing the risk of passing the disease on to others), have provided new tools for fighting this disease.
"These clinical approaches are important new plans aimed at interrupting the spread of disease and improving the overall health of Maine" said Dr. Bruce Bates, director of the Maine CDC. "I commend the efforts of those in community and clinical settings as they work to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS in Maine."