(CNN)December 1 is World AIDS Day, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness and money to fight AIDS around the world.
World AIDS Day: 5 ways you can make a difference
Over the last four decades, HIV and AIDS have been at the forefront of advocacy and research. But despite medical advances, AIDS remains one of the most destructive pandemics in history, particularly of youth.
According to World Health Organization estimates, more than 30% of new HIV infections occur in people between 15 and 25 years old. Combined with the increasing number of babies infected at birth, some 5 million young people now live with HIV.
CNN Impact Your World spoke with two high-profile AIDS activists about five ways we all can play a role in preventing HIV and AIDS among youth.
Knowing your HIV status is crucial. Some people think they know their status because they had one HIV test at some point. But HIV can be transmitted at any time through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or even the breast milk of someone who is infected.
Deondre Moore, an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, was diagnosed with HIV at 19.
"If you know your status, that empowers you," Moore told CNN. "That protects you, that protects the next person, and it helps you to navigate and know what to do next."
Knowing your status shows that you care about yourself and your sexual partners. The CDC suggests that anyone who has unsafe sex or shares drug needles should get tested at least once a year.
Online tools like AIDS Vu provide geographically specific information and resources for testing.
Many people have fears, prejudices and negative attitudes about HIV and AIDS that might not be rooted in facts. What is fact: Stigma leads to discrimination, which can marginalize the HIV-affected community.
As a 24-year-old, Moore looks back on his diagnosis back in 2014. That's when he realized he had to get past his own thoughts and misconceptions about HIV.
"All I actually heard was, 'You're probably going to die soon.' That was the lack of education that I had."
20-year-old Ashley Rose Murphy was born with HIV, exposed by her infected birth mother in the womb.