The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is called "Getting to Zero." That is, zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.
Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than one million people live in the US with AIDS.
To help raise awareness about the disease many took part in an AIDS Walk and Candlelight Vigil at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Organizers say it's also to remember those who have lost their fight or still battle the disease everyday.
One of those is Anthony Wyatt. Nearly 20 years ago Wyatt learned he had HIV, which would become full blown AIDS in just six months.
Wyatt says the news left him full of emotions and many questions. That's when he turned to Southern Illinois HIV Care Connect for support and guidance to health care.
Wyatt now helps others face the life changing disease and speaks out about the importance of safe sex.
"All you have to do is start to love yourself, value yourself and tell your partner that when it comes to sex, you have to use condoms," Wyatt said. "And if they don't want to use condoms you look at them as though they are positive."
According to health experts young people are more likely to get HIV/AIDS because they take fewer precautions when having sex. The CDC calls for more education about the diseased for younger generations.
To learn where you can get tested for HIV/AIDS contact your local health department.