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HIV/AIDS: Overview

  • By: Lalatendu Acharya
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The first official case of HIV/AIDS was detected in the United States in 1981. Thirty years later, UNAIDS estimates showed that an estimated 34 million people globally were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2011. HIV/AIDS has been recognized as a global pandemic causing nearly 60 million infections and 25 million deaths and affecting millions of families; the disease has decimated many global communities and countries of their human resources. Michael H. Merson and colleagues observed in a 2008 Lancet article that HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of human mortality worldwide and responsible for most of the deaths in sub-Saharan Africa (sub-Saharan Africa accounts for three-quarters of the global deaths). The majority of people living with HIV or at risk for HIV do not ...

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