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An Overview of HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and, if left untreated, results in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). People who progress to AIDS have weakened immune systems, making them vulnerable to life-threatening opportunistic infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States are currently living with HIV. Of these 1.2 million, around 13% are unaware that they are infected with HIV. Though the incidence of new infections in the U.S. has become stable over the last decade, the prevalence of individuals with HIV has increased during this time because new medications have increased the lifespan of individuals infected with HIV.

Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the U.S. in the 1980s, more than a half million people have died from the disease. Although the U.S. had made progress slowing the transmission of the disease, the CDC reported that, in 2012 alone, more than 13,000 people with AIDS died. In addition to the impact of lost lives, the economic cost associated with HIV/AIDS remains high. According to the CDC, the current estimate for the cost of lifetime treatment for one person living with HIV is nearly $400,000.

Resources to Learn More

HIV.gov
Website
Official U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website that includes background information on HIV, descriptions of federal resources, an HIV/AIDS service locator, guides on utilizing new media and mobile apps as they relate to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, as well as news and events in the field.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

A Timeline of HIV/AIDS
Website
Timeline of the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States from 1981 through 2015.
Organization(s): HIV.gov