UNC marks World AIDS Day after year of groundbreaking research

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Tuesday is World AIDS Day, a day meant to be an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with it and remember those who have died.

There have been many advances made in HIV treatment thanks to research performed across the globe. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have had a huge impact on that research.

Earlier this year, UNC announced their study about early treatment keeping uninfected partners safe and they also announced a major partnership with GlaxoSmithKline in May.

UNC researchers were able to pinpoint the timeline for HIV replication in the brain and were also one of only three North Carolina sites in the global START trial.

That study’s results influenced the World Health Organization to change worldwide treatment guidelines. People who test positive for HIV are now immediately put on treatment, something that didn’t happen in the past.

According to the World AIDS Day website, globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988, according to the World AIDS Day website.

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