Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. Picture: REUTERS

Laverne Cox thinks the number of people fighting AIDS-related illnesses is "insane".

The 47-year-old transgender actress finds the situation heartbreaking - especially as many of the cases are potentially easy to prevent.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Laverne - who has teamed up with Band-Aid and RED to fight the problem - explained: "It's intense that in 2019, AIDS is still an issue in a lot of parts of the world, that we have new transmissions every year.

"It's insane to me when we can prevent it."

In her own life, Laverne has seen two of her mother's gay friends become HIV-positive and die.

The 'Orange Is the New Black' star also bemoaned the "crazy stigma around HIV/AIDS".

She said: "I know so many people who are living with HIV/AIDS and unfortunately far too many people who we've lost to the disease.
"And there's still a really crazy stigma around HIV/AIDS."

What's more, Laverne claimed that many people still live in fear of the illness.

She shared: "I think people of a certain age have this trauma of like, watching people we know and love die and then the trauma of that, and the trauma of like, 'Am I next?'"

Earlier this year, meanwhile, Laverne revealed she wants to "change the conversation" around transgender people.

The actress thinks the time is right for the trans community to be discussed in less "sensationalist" ways.

She said: "I want to take this platform and this opportunity to build a brand that was bigger for myself. But also to begin to tell stories and change the conversation about transgender people.

"The timing was right for us to begin having different conversations about trans folks.
"Most of the ways that trans people were talked about on television or when we would go on talk shows, the questions would be very invasive and objectifying and dehumanising, in my opinion, and sensationalised."