There is still no cure for AIDS. However, biomedical breakthroughs (in early detection of HIV infection, improved screening technologies, advances in antiretroviral and combination drug therapies during the 1990's, as well as prophylactic medications against opportunistic infections, etc.), coupled with vigilant grassroots information campaign (especially from the gay community), contributed to the dramatic decrease in new cases of AIDS after the peak rate in 1993 (Fig. 1, yellow triangle); and, dramatic decrease in AIDS deaths after 1995 (Fig. 1, blue diamond).
If HIV infection is diagnosed early, current biomedical therapies (e.g., HAART) significantly delay the progression to AIDS status. Moreover, people living with AIDS (PLWA) can now live longer with a "manageable disease" (see Fig. 2) -- reflected as an increase in the total population of PLWA (see Fig. 1, closed circle) from lower AIDS death rates after 1995 (Fig. 1, blue diamond).
Deaths due AIDS-related illnesses and other opportunistic infections declined sharply after 1993 and 1995, respectively (see figure above, also Deaths due to HIV Infection).
Early detection of HIV infection, improved screening technologies, advances in antiretroviral and combination drug therapies during the 1990's, as well as prophylactic medications against opportunistic infections all contributed to the dramatic decrease in new cases of AIDS after the peak rate in 1993 and AIDS deaths after 1995. Because of these medical breakthroughs, people living with HIV or AIDS are able to live longer with a "manageable disease".
Grassroots campaign to promote prevention through "safer sex" practices, since the early stages of the epidemic, played a crucial role in the dramatic decrease in HIV infection.
Unfortunately, perhaps because of all the aforementioned successes,
there are some alarming trends:
recent studies indicate that younger people are reverting to unsafe sex practices and are not being screened properly. As a result, many of those infected are not aware of their HIV status.
Use the icons (e.g., "AIDS Primer", "AIDS in America", etc.) as well as the underlined items to jump from one section to another. Also, most of the figures and illustrations shown here are linked to their original sources.