LANSING, Mich (WLNS)- December is HIV/AIDS awareness month- an epidemic that is now entering its fifth decade with no official vaccine.
1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV according to HIV.Gov. 15% of them don’t even know it, because they have yet to get tested. In 2015 Lansing resident Jonathan Thurston was one of them.
“I was sick for a bit with flu-like symptoms for a while but I didn’t know it was HIV and doctors hadn’t looked into it, ” said Thurston.
The first case of HIV/AIDS was reported in June of 1981, and according to the UNAIDS organization, it’s taken more than 32.7 million lives. Thurston contracted the virus from their first partner.
“I had no idea that my partner had it or that he was seeing other people, so there was a lot of emotions that came with the news for me,” said Thurston.
The Lansing Area Aids Network delivers services and programs to those with HIV/AIDS by offering them a community of support, and ways to help prevent the further spread of the virus.
“We’re here to listen we’re here to guide and help you find the services that you need to live your life,” said Katie McKay, office manager of Lansing Area Aids Network.
While there is currently no official cure for HIV/AIDS, there is medication to keep those infected safe and healthy, living a normal life. Knowing your status is important, and can help save a life.