CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Worlds AIDS Day is December 1.
Healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the disease say there's progress in treating and preventing the spread of HIV.
Dr. Brenna Keller with the Cape Girardeau County Health Department said, at one time, people were dying six months after diagnosis. Now, with daily medications, they can live a long and normal life.
"When I first meet someone and they're very scared, they've remembered everything they heard back in the seventies and eighties and they think it's a very stereotype disease," Dr. Keller said. "First think I tell them is they're gonna be fine. We have three things to do and if we can do those things they will live a normal life and all it is, is keep yourself safe, take your medications and follow up."
Dr. Keller said the most important thing is that you get tested, right now. There are an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV One in eight of them don't know they have the disease.
Once again, Dr. Keller said with medication, HIV is no longer a killer.