HIV is not a thing of the past.

Even with advances in science and medicine, thousands contract the virus each year. That’s why the United States observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 7. The annual observance aims to increase awareness about the disease’s disproportionate impact on Black Americans while rallying community members to help end the epidemic. 

What’s there to know about HIV? A lot. In 2021, over 36,000 Americans were diagnosed. Despite only accounting for 12% of the nation’s population, Black people accounted for nearly half of those diagnoses — a trend that’s persisted since the epidemic began in the 1980s. 

Understanding how HIV spreads — and how infections are prevented — can save lives. Get a handle on your HIV education by starting with three key facts.

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