Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) have been plaguing mankind for centuries. With millions of people stricken per year, the incidence of such conditions continues to cause alarm for many countries as well as international organizations. It has been found by researchers that people in developing countries, particularly in Africa and South America, are more prone to acquiring STDs. In line with this, treatments are not easy to obtain in such nations because of limited access to updated medical facilities.

Among the most concerning STDs that continues to afflict millions is HIV, also known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus. First identified and isolated in 1981, this disease, along with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is said to have caused the deaths of more than 25 million people across the globe, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of the year 2007, more than 33 million people are estimated to have HIV, and of these statistics, more than half of them are of people aged 25 years old and below, as the WHO states. When the HIV infection is left untreated, symptoms can escalate and develop into AIDS. Despite the attempt for better cures, the number of people with AIDS and HIV worldwide continues to increase.

Because of such concerns, most health facilities and institutions in the United States and around the world recommend STD testing as well as the HIV test for patients who may be prone to these diseases. Because some STD symptoms may be similar to other non-STD related conditions, it is best to have such tests taken, in order for treatment or preventive care to be duly administered. For people who are interested in STD testing, there are many STD clinics that provide such services. While these facilities intend to keep results of tests private, the patient concerned has the choice to grant these STD clinics permission to share the results with research organizations to aid the search for better STD treatments. It is important to note that HIV testing, AIDS testing, or tests for other STDs is highly encouraged for expectant mothers, as this can help avoid the transfer of the disease to the unborn child.

In line with the increasing stats on HIV and AIDS, many medical researches continue to pursue more effective means of alleviating the symptoms of HIV, AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. In the end, mankind can expect the absolute cure that will eliminate these illnesses from society. At present, information and prevention are the best means to avoid getting infected.

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