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Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day.
  "World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died."  

There are varying opinions on the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, but an argument can be made that it has helped those individuals with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be turned away due to their illness.  Among these individuals are people living with HIV/AIDS.  For a broad overview of how the ACA has impacted people living with HIV/AIDS, check out the aids.gov resource information.   Additionally, Trusted Choice has information on their site about living with HIV/AIDS and life insurance.  One is always encouraged to call a Trusted Choice agency where they will have access to a variety of companies that can assist.

Certainly AIDS treatment has come a long way since the disease arrived in the 1980's, but the statistics are still staggering.  The U.S. Center for Disease Control has declared more than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV and 1 in 8 don't know it.  The Foundation for AIDS Research also points out that at the end of 2011, 23% of all people living with HIV in the US were women.  AIDSVu has an interactive map where you can view the rates of persons living with diagnosed HIV

Globally, the numbers are even more arresting.  According to UNAIDS, 36.7 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2015 and as of June 2016, 18.2 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy.  According to aids.gov, antiretroviral therapy involves taking a combination of HIV medicine every day.  These HIV medicines prevent HIV from multiplying (making copies of itself), which reduces the amount of HIV in your body.  Less HIV in your body allows your immune system to recover and fight off infections and cancers and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

To date, only one person has been cured of AIDS.  Timothy Ray Brown, referred to as the Berlin Patient, tested positive for HIV in 1995 while studying abroad in Berlin.  In 2006, the American was diagnosed with Leukemia and in 2007, after a bone marrow transplant, he was cured of both Leukemia and AIDS.  It is said that the Berlin Patient is a unique case due to the combination of HIV and Leukemia and finding the right bone marrow donor.  This recipe has yet to be replicated and scientists are skeptical of the long term feasibility of this method.  However, there is hope as it was reported on Monday, November 28 that testing is set to begin on a new vaccine that could be the "final nail in the coffin" for HIV.

It has been estimated by Healthline that the average cost of treating one American infected with HIV over the course of their lifetime is $379,668.  The US is expected to spend almost $30 billion annually on HIV/AIDS programs.  We might finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic, but until then, the cost in both lives and money will continue to be a heavy burden.  

Get tested.  Be safe.  Speak with an independent agent if you believe you're at risk and need medical protection.  CLH is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by either emailing questions@clhins.com or calling 636.391.0700 to speak with an agent.

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