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Friday is World AIDS Day

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HOUSTON – Friday is World AIDS Day.

It was created on Dec. 1, 1982, in an effort to raise awareness about the disease caused by HIV.

Many Americans recently diagnosed with HIV lived with the virus for at least three years without realizing it, statistics show.

According to UNAIDS.com, about 76.1 million people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic. In 2016, 36.7 million people globally were living with HIV, 1.8 million new people became infected with HIV and 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses, the site said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Texas ranks among the states with the highest number of undiagnosed cases.

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A doctor at Baylor College of Medicine said the statistics are prompting new pressure on people to be tested. The outcomes can be much better than they have been in the past.

HIV and AIDS death rates have fallen by 88 percent world wide since mid-1990, according to the CDC.

Find out where we are in the fight against HIV and learn more about the disease, including local resources, where to get tested and how to protect yourself, at AIDS Foundation Houston and Texas > AIDS.