Sioux City leaders commemorate World AIDS Day - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City leaders commemorate World AIDS Day

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Ribbons symbolizing those who have lost the fight against AIDS in Siouxland. Ribbons symbolizing those who have lost the fight against AIDS in Siouxland.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

We first heard about AIDS and HIV about 30 years ago.  But it's still a problem.  And the growing number of people getting it are teens who don't know they have it.

Community leaders and members came out to Morningside College in Sioux City on Tuesday to commemorate World AIDS Day, which was December 1st.  Candles were lit for those who've battled HIV and lost the fight. 

According to the Centers For Disease Control almost a quarter of new HIV cases are in young people ages 13 to 24, and more than half don't know they are infected.

"It's really becoming an issue for youths, that mean's its about 1,000 a month in this country," Darla Petersen with the Siouxland Health Community Center said.

Researchers say only a third of 18 to 24-year olds get tested for HIV and only 13 percent of high school students have ever been tested.

One high school student who took part in tonight's event and the AIDS walk around campus says he hopes more of his peers think about getting tested.

"Never think that it can't happen to you, because it can, HIV and AIDS can be passed through many ways, just, if you're young, be safe, and know that there are other ways to have fun," Victor Diaz, a high school student said.

Even though medical advances mean HIV patients are living longer, early diagnosis is crucial for improving your chances.

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