Saturday, December 1st, is World AIDS Day (hashtag #WAD2012), a time for re-upping your vigilance and awareness levels about HIV/AIDS. The global AIDS crisis is not over until an AIDS-free society is achieved, and unfortunately, we’re not there yet. That’s why the US theme for World AIDS Day 2012 is “Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation.”
More than 30 years after the first reports of AIDS in the United States, approximately 50,000 Americans are still contracting HIV – the virus that can lead to AIDS – each year. In addition, nearly 1 in 5 individuals living with HIV is unaware of his or her infection. That’s why we can’t become complacent about HIV prevention and treatment.
Living with HIV? Connect with the 3,000+ members of PatientsLikeMe’s HIV Community for information, support and advice. If you know your HIV type (e.g., HIV-1: Group M: Type B), you can now search for those with the same type as you and learn from their experiences, including what medications they’ve taken and how they rate each drug’s effectiveness, costs and side effects. From Atripla to Truvada to Norvir, discover how our patients evaluate commonly prescribed HIV treatments and read their battle-tested tips.
The point is that working together can improve care – and increase prevention. Join the millions of Americans working towards an AIDS-free generation today.
Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. 30 years after the first reports of AIDS in the United States, HIV – the virus that can lead to AIDS – is still a reality for 1.1 million Americans. Complicating matters is that fact that one in every five people living with HIV in the United States is unaware that he or she is infected.
That’s why, despite increased awareness of HIV/AIDS, we still need to do more to ensure that every American who may be at risk gets tested. PatientsLikeMe is joining the AIDS.gov initiative in “Facing AIDS” today. This social media campaign is an easy way to show your support of The National HIV/AIDS Strategy – and it’s inspired by the current trend of taking photos while holding a sign with a message written on it. Are you ready to join the campaign too?
As the video above illustrates, here’s how it works:
Share. Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc.) to share your photo.
What else can you do? Remind people that you can locate your local HIV testing site by texting your zip code to “KNOWIT” (566948) or using the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Service Provider Locator, which includes maps and directions. Also, check out and share our video about how one member has faced HIV/AIDS for more than 25 years (it has 40,000+ views on YouTube so far!), and if you’re a PatientsLikeMe member, subscribe to AIDS.gov’s profile page for updates.
Did you know today is World AIDS Day? Thanks to the many different organizations (including those like AIDS.gov) recognizing the day and raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.
Now a few years old, the PatientsLikeMe HIV community currently has more than 2,800 people with HIV sharing their health information to help others learn from their experiences. In honor of today, here’s a snapshot of what patients like you are sharing and learning about in this community.
DID YOU ALSO KNOW…
You can all find patients like you by searching by CD4 count, viral load, years since infection and more.
Every December 1st, we join hands with the HIV community at large in recognition of World AIDS Day.
The theme of World AIDS Day this year is leadership — a fitting theme for the 2500+ patients who are leading the way through openness in the PatientsLikeMe HIV community. These leaders have chosen to share their health data and their personal stories of living with HIV, not only to manage their own disease, but also to help better the lives of others with HIV.
For 27 years, HIV/AIDS has been a global epidemic. Today, our online community has a few thousand patients whose experiences of living with HIV run the gamut – from the newly diagnosed to those who were infected long ago. Approximately 334 patients (or 12% of our community) indicate they were infected with HIV more than 20 years ago (such as BrightonBear, an early member who shared his story with us in this interview). Similarly, 84 patients indicate on their profiles that they have been living with AIDS for more than 15 years. All of these members have a lot to share – both through data and conversation – about how they continue to face the symptoms, treatments and side effects, and stigma of living HIV-positive. There are also members who are new to HIV, with 162 patients in our HIV Community indicating they were diagnosed less than 2 years ago. Our patients, both newly diagnosed and veterans in the HIV community, are true leaders – openly sharing their real-world health data and personal stories about living with HIV. Here are some interesting tidbits the community is sharing:
How are patients like you evaluating the most popular treatments used for HIV? See what they say in our treatment reports about Atripla, Ritonavir, and Truvada.
Ever heard of Coconut Macaroon Cookies used to “treat” HIV? A handful of PatientsLikeMe members cite it as a great way for patients to curb their diarrhea, a common side effect of their cocktails.
That numbness in your hands and feet could be peripheral neuropathy, a common symptom in HIV. Patients are discussing treatments ranging from prescription drugs to lifestyle modifications to lessen the effects.
Some of the most discussed topics patients in our forum include specific treatments (i.e., Atripla and Truvada) and side effects, common symptoms (like fatigue) and other quality of life issues like depression, relationships, dealing with a new diagnosis, and coping.
For the past two years, PatientsLikeMe has worked in cooperation with AIDS.gov, a government media program committed to improving the lives of patients with HIV. Check out their “Facing AIDS” photo campaign in honor of World AIDS Day.
Thank you to all of our members who continue to share and learn. It’s you who are leading the way.
World AIDS Day is a milestone in so many different ways. It has marked the persistence of HIV and its impact on our world, but we hope that we are approaching a turning point where World AIDS Day will come to mark progress.
What this day marks, however, is that being HIV positive doesn’t mean one will automatically get AIDS anymore. People are living longer and medications continue to improve the health and quality of life for people with HIV. There’s still a long way to go, but progress is being made.
A year ago on this day, the PatientsLikeMe HIV Community was open to a small group of beta-testers, and one of them asked in the Forum if people in the world-at-large even take notice of this day, or have any idea what it means for people with HIV? Now, we have over 1,600 patients who are sharing their experience, giving each other needed information and support. And they are using PatientsLikeMe to empower themselves to show the world on World AIDS Day and every day that there is life with HIV.