Dec. 1, is designated around the globe as World AIDS Day – a day to raise awareness about those living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the virus from spreading.

According to the World Health Organization, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide since 1980. Currently, there are 36 million people living with HIV, making it one of the most important public health issues of our time.

While there have been enormous strides to find a cure since 1983 when scientists initially discovered discovered the virus that, there are still challenges.

We have seen some progress in recent years. New HIV cases have dropped by seven percent and the death rate continues to fall by 30 percent in large part to the medical advances in treating the illness.

Still, young people are at risk. Around the world, more than two million youth are living with HIV. In the U.S., 1 in 4 new HIV infections happen between the ages of 13 to 24.

Despite these figures, there are many resources available to those who are HIV positive or just want to get more information about prevention and getting tested.

Sacramento is coming together tonight to remember lives lost to HIV/AIDS. For more information on World AIDS Day events in Sacramento, visit: