Since 1988 many observe World AIDS Day.
This is a day to show support for those living with HIV and remembering those that died.
Some are trying to bring awareness to this issue.
An STD roulette spun but no one wanted to know where it stops. That seems to be the attitude some have towards sexually transmitted diseases.
HIV Tester Elizabeth Aranda says, “A lot of people give me the comment of ‘I don’t want to know.’ I offer the test to them and they say ‘I don’t want to know.’”
Today the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley hosted an event to recognize World Aids Day. Here students had the opportunity to learn about AIDS and HIV.
“Many people think, ‘I don’t have an STD because I don’t have symptoms. I don’t have this or that because I’m not showing anything; I’m having a healthy life,’” says Daisy Silva, PR Educator for Know Your Status.
Anyone can have HIV or AIDS. The numbers of those infected seems to be growing.
“So it’s 7 a week,” says Silva, “About one every day, it is big problem.”
Last Year the Valley AIDS Council saw a total of 2,300 HIV positive residents receiving treatment. Those are the numbers that get reported.
Unfortunately Hispanic culture does not have many people tested.
“We’re known as late testers. Most Latinos don’t get tested,” says Aranda.
The reasons vary, but that data can be interpreted either way.
Silva states, “The numbers keep going up. We either see it as something good because people are getting tested or something bad because people are not using protected.”
Aranda recommends that people “get tested at least every six months or three months. It all depends on the lifestyle that they have.”
HIV test results are confidential.
According to the CDC, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested at least once.