Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Myth #13- AIDS is disappearing
HIV disease is far from disappearing. We have over a million Americans living with HIV disease or AIDS. (AIDS is more advanced disease, and many people with HIV disease have little or no symptoms.) When the AIDS epidemic erupted, it was depicted as a disease of the gay male population in San Francisco. Sadly, many people still believe the myth that only that group is at risk for HIV disease.
So what are the facts? Which Americans have HIV? An estimated 47% are black, 34% are white, and 17% are Hispanic. Roughly one in four people with HIV disease are unaware of their infection. 74% are male, and 26% are female. 45% of people with HIV are indeed men who have sex with men (gay or bisexual or on the "down low"), 27% are heterosexuals who had "high risk" contact, and 22% are intravenous drug users. By age, the majority are 25-44 years old at diagnosis.
BOTTOM LINE: HIV has infected over a million Americans, and one fourth of them are unaware- get tested and make sure you know your status.