World AIDS Day—which became the first ever global health day in 1988—recognized 30 years this past December 1st. Since HIV/AIDS became a public health concern in 1981, over 35 million people have died from AIDS-related complications worldwide. An estimated 940,000 people died from HIV-related causes in 2017 alone. At the beginning of 2018, approximately 36.9 million people were living with HIV, with 1.8 million newly diagnosed in the year prior. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that only 75% of people with HIV are aware of their status.

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Many patients living with HIV or AIDS take special medications to treat their conditions, which are often very expensive. There has been an increase in demand for HIV and AIDS treatment and medication, for a number of reasons. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The epidemic is growing rapidly among minorities, who have historically experienced higher risk for poverty, lack of health insurance, comorbidity, and disenfranchisement from the health care system. The result is a growing number of people living with HIV disease who require public support.” Low-income patients diagnosed with HIV or AIDS often need additional financial assistance to cover the high cost of their treatments.

Federal Help

Luckily there is help available in each state and territory of the United States. “Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-87) provides grants to States and U.S. Territories to improve the quality, availability, and organization of HIV/AIDS

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