We have lived with HIV and AIDS for over 30 years, since it was first recognized as an unexplained pattern of illnesses in 1981. The epidemic has undergone many shifts and changes. We have moved from a time of terror and crisis, through years of struggle and activism, until today, when breakthroughs in medications and treatments mean that HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a manageable illness.
As the face and demographics of HIV and AIDS continue to change, most basic facts about the disease remain the same. Methods of transmission, the importance of safer sex practices, the need for open communication with your partners are still vital. Arming yourself with this basic information about HIV is the first step to keeping yourself and your partner(s) informed and healthy.