Rockford clinic releases balloons for World AIDS Day

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Roughly 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV and nearly one in eight of those have no idea they're even infected according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In honor of World AIDS Day, Crusader Clinic in Rockford released balloons to bring awareness to the fact that there are people with HIV/AIDS in our community, promote HIV/AIDS prevention and give hope to those living with the disease.

Since 1990, Crusader tells us its Living with HIV program has provided services to 400 patients with HIV/AIDS.

"We've worked very hard to make sure that we've changed this infection from being about death to being about a chronic medical condition where treatment and early detection and prevention can keep people healthy and keep people alive and also stop the spread of HIV and AIDS," said Sheldon Kay, vice president of community relations.

Kay said as a result of medical advances in the late 1990s, the number of people living with HIV has increased dramatically but without medical care HIV still leads to AIDS and early death.