March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day—an annual observance that highlights the impact of HIV/AIDS on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20% of HIV-infected people in the United States do not know that they are infected; however, among American Indians and Alaska Natives the figure is closer to 25%. Compared to members of other ethnic or racial groups, American Indians and Alaska Natives who receive a diagnosis of HIV infection or AIDS have one of the shortest survival times. This may be due to HIV infections diagnosed late in the course of the disease or limited access to health care.
Visit our National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day page [en español] to learn how the HIV/AIDS epidemic is affecting native communities.
Recent HIV/AIDS News from NIAID
- March 5, 2014: Genetic Modification of Cells Proves Generally Safe as HIV Treatment Strategy
“Scientists today report initial results from humans on the safety and tolerability of a novel strategy to curb HIV disease by removing key cells from HIV-infected individuals, genetically modifying the cells to resist HIV infection and returning them to those individuals. The basic and pre-clinical research on this strategy, which eventually might help people control the virus without drugs, was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.”
- March 3, 2014: Study of Antibody Evolution Charts Course Toward HIV Vaccine
“In an advance for HIV vaccine research, a scientific team has discovered how the immune system makes a powerful antibody that blocks HIV infection of cells by targeting a site on the virus called V1V2. Many researchers believe that if a vaccine could elicit potent antibodies to a specific conserved site in the V1V2 region, one of a handful of sites that remains constant on the fast-mutating virus, then the vaccine could protect people from HIV infection.”