Maine CDC encourages people to get tested on World AIDS Day

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Dr. Christoph Hamelmann, the WHO Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran, during a surprise visit to a Drop-in Center in Kerman on November 28 took a HIV test to highlight this year's theme of World AIDS Day 2018 as "Know Your Status".

Campaigners say one of the biggest challenges in the fight to end AIDS is encouraging people to get tested and making them aware of treatment and prevention services.

The World Health Organization says HIV-positive mothers could pass the virus to their children during breastfeeding.

- An estimated 77 million people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic in 1981, including 1.8 million in 2017. However, about 9.4 million people did not know that they were living with HIV.

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Figures show that the country reported around 87,000 new AIDS cases in 2017, marking a decline of almost 70% in new infections since 1995 when the disease, which spreads due to a deadly virus infection, was at its peak. Even so, throughout the Region, key population groups most at risk of contracting HIV continue to miss out on vital prevention and follow-up services.

World AIDS Day 2018 will be commemorated on Saturday December first under the global theme "Know your status". Ukraine keeps the leading position in Europe in terms of new HIV infection cases. Sex workers and their clients, transgender women and people who inject themselves with drugs are also disproportionately affected by HIV. It can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout one's body. Testing is therefore a vital element in preventing further spread of the virus and ensuring that those with HIV have a better quality of life.

The Union government has set sights on reducing new HIV infections by 75% in the country by 2020. The agency's also reminding people ME that HIV care and prevention have dramatically changed since the discovery of the virus in 1984, and many patients are able to live long lives.

PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medical method for people at high risk for HIV. World Aids Day is an opportunity to celebrate the success of this pioneering global health campaign, and initiatives in place all over the world to tackle the AIDS epidemic.

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