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About HIV/AIDS


In the United States, 1.2 million people are living with HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which weakens the immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. According to the CDC, 50,000 more people are infected each year. In Indiana? The Indiana State Department of Health indicates that roughly 10,000 people are living with HIV right here in the Hoosier State.

Discovered in 1981 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV/AIDS affects all races, genders, sexual preferences, and ages. While no cure for HIV has yet been developed – meaning once you are infected, you have HIV for life – current treatments can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, and lower their chance of infecting others.

What began as a mysterious immune deficiency among gay men has transformed into an issue that affects our entire community. In Indiana, The Damien Center serves about 25% of the total population of people living with HIV with the goal of reducing their HIV viral loads (the amount of HIV in the body) and increasing CD4 levels (the amount of healthy, immune-boosting cells in the body). Reducing viral load makes the individual living with HIV both healthier and less likely to pass the virus on to others, which in turn improves the health of our community. Of the 1.2 million HIV+ individuals in the United States, almost one in seven, or 14%, are unaware of their infection – and when you don't know you're infected with HIV, you're much more likely to pass it on to another person. 

Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections -- about 50,000, according to the CDC -- has remained relatively stable. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are most seriously affected by HIV; by race, blacks/African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV. Other growing risk groups include African American women, Hispanics/Latinos, and youth.

HIV 101 (FAQs)

Your most common questions (and maybe some curveballs, too) are answered in our FAQs. See what other users are asking, or submit your own questions.

Resources & Statistics

Find HIV stats, links, and in-depth resources to expand your knowledge of the current state of HIV in our city, state, and nation.

HIV Care

Our one-stop-shop approach to HIV care means our patients can find the services they need all in one place. Staying healthy in the face of HIV just got a little easier.