More than 1.1 million Americans have HIV, with more than 56,000 new infections contracted each year. An estimated 12 percent of new HIV infections each year are directly attributable to injection drug use.

The development of effective medications has lessened the psychological impact of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis for many people. In fact, most HIV-infected people — especially gay men with good social support and access to medical care — don’t suffer from sustained, severe distress.

In addition to helping individuals who are distressed, psychologists are studying ways to change people’s behavior and prevent people from contracting the disease in the first place.

Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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