In light of World AIDS Day, we want to take a second to provide some information about HIV/AIDS and steps you can take to protect yourself.

Since the epidemic of 1997, the number of new HIV cases has declined 21%. However, in 2012, 2.3 million people reported new cases of HIV infection. That’s 6,300 new infections reported daily. Today, 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally and 95% of cases are in low and middle income countries.

Luckily, here in Missoula there are many resources available to help keep you informed and protected. The most important thing you can do is GET YOURSELF TESTED! 1 in 7 people who are infected don’t know they are living with the virus. The Open Aid Alliance, located at 500 N Higgins Ste 110, provides free testing Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm.

After you know your HIV status, keep yourself safe by practicing safe sex. This is most simply done by using condoms! Curry Health Center on the University of Montana campus provides both testing services and “The Condom Corner” (pictured above). This program provides free condoms and other sexy-time treats for free!

Support World AIDS day by staying informed and getting tested!