BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)–December 1st is World AIDS Day. 

The event was founded in 1988 by the United Nations as a day to remember those who have died from aids-related illnesses and show support for those fighting HIV.   This year, the UN is using this world aids day to remind everyone that the fight against HIV and Aids is not over despite another global pandemic.

The disease which is shared through bodily fluids and is common in homosexual men and minority cultures has seen an uptick recently due to intravenous drug use in the country

“Recently due to the booming IV Pandemic in the Southern Rural West Virginia, we have come across several outbreaks here in the last three years,” said Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Zamira Gul.

According to the World AIDS organization -an estimated 38 million people have contracted the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.