In 1986, the year AIDS Walk Orange County started, Dr. H. Mahler, the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that as many as 10 million people worldwide could already be infected with HIV. The first case of HIV/AIDS in Orange County was reported in 1981.
Protease inhibitors, introduced in 1996, provided a real glimmer of hope in the fight against the disease. For the first time since the epidemic started there was a marked decrease in deaths among people with AIDS. Unfortunately, the high cost of these drugs prevented many people from getting the help they needed.
By 2001, Orange County reported a total of 6,984 persons diagnosed with AIDS and 50% of them had died. Although the number of cases of new HIV infection continued to increase deaths were actually decreasing in the United States, another indication of treatment advances.
In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than one million persons in the United states were living with HIV/AIDS. While medicines are keeping more people with HIV alive, government health officials have failed to “break the back” of the AIDS epidemic by their stated goal of 2005. Sadly, Orange County reported a 79% increase of AIDS cases in 2006.
For 2010 – 2011, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported that the majority of new infections in the county were in the 18-29 year old age range and in the Latino/Hispanic population. And many of the new AIDS cases were being reported concurrently with HIV diagnosis.
To learn more about HIV/AIDS, please visit our HIV/AIDS Health Resources section. Here you will find more information about the disease as well as a list of helpful links to local and national organizations.
For a list of ASF employees who are available to help you with any questions, click here.
Also please remember, the key to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS includes regular testing. To find a testing site near you, please click here.