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Just a few years ago, those were the most frightening acronyms on the planet. Now? Many folks hardly think of them at all.

But everyone should understand that, despite medical advances that mean being diagnosed with HIV is no longer an automatic death sentence, the disease is still out there.

And that there are millions in the U.S. and around the globe living with HIV.

Millions have died as well. It's estimated that worldwide as many as 41.5 million have lost their lives, and those afflicted are still dying at the rate of about 1 million each year.

Today is World AIDS Day, an annual event to bring the spotlight back on HIV and AIDS. It began in 1988 and each year brings prevention and treatment information to the community, shows support for those living with HIV and allows those who have lost friends and family to AIDS to mourn together for their loved ones.

AIDS may get less press these days, and we may have pushed it to the back of our minds, but it's still with us. It's important that we all remember that — and make sure our children understand as well. We should remember those living with the virus and those who are no longer with us.

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