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What You Don’t Know About HIV/AIDS

AIDS Awareness Ribbon June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. Get tested!

June 27, 2012 is HIV National Testing Day.

The message is simple — Get Tested!!

Just recently I was blessed with the opportunity to become an HIV testing counselor at a local clinic where I will be working one on one with patients and providing HIV tests. My inner goddess is screaming with excitement as I was chosen along with 5 others out of more than 100 applications to be in this position. With my major in Public Health, this is a direct reflection of my career goals and I cannot be more pleased with myself. With the HIV epidemic on the rise, I feel obligated to share the facts with those who highest at risk. I encourage everyone who has ever engaged in any type of sexual contact to get tested.  Knowledge is power, and having power over your health is the key to longevity. Know the facts!

Check out these facts about HIV/AIDS according to Center For Disease Control and Prevention.

Young people ages 13-24 are at an extremely high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, much higher than we tend to realize.

  • In 2009, young blacks accounted for 65% (5,404) of diagnoses of HIV infection reported among persons aged 13–24 years.
  • In 2009, young persons accounted for 39% of all new HIV infections in the US. For comparison’s sake, persons aged 15–29 comprised 21% of the US population in 2010.
  • Young people aged 13–29 accounted for 39% of all new HIV infections in 2009.

Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States, 2009, by Age

 The African American Community has the highest risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, especially within the gay community.

  • In 2009, African Americans comprised 14% of the US population but accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections.
  • In 2009, black men accounted for 70% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks. The estimated rate of new HIV infection for black men was more than six and a half times as high as that of white men, and two and a half times as high as that of Latino men or black women.
  • In 2009, black men who have sex with men (MSM)1represented an estimated 73% of new infections among all black men, and 37% among all MSM. More new HIV infections occurred among young black MSM (aged 13–29) than any other age and racial group of MSM. In addition, new HIV infections among young black MSM increased by 48% from 2006–2009.
  • In 2009, black women accounted for 30% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks. Most (85%) black women with HIV acquired HIV through heterosexual sex. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high as that of Latina women.

Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States, 2009, for the Most-Affected Sub-populations

HIV Diagnoses*, by State of Residence, 2009 United States, As of December 31, 2009 ADULT/ADOLESCENT

STATE OF RESIDENCE                   2009 Cases      % of TOTAL     2009 Rate

FLORIDA                                        5,775               13%                 33.0

CALIFORNIA                                  4,886              11%                 0.0

NEW YORK                                    4,649               10%                29.5

TEXAS                                            4,291               10%                 18.4

GEORGIA                                       2,073               5%                   32.9

PENNSYLVANIA                             1,736               4%                  14.5

NORTH CAROLINA                        1,719               4%                   19.7

ILLINOIS                                         1,708               4%                   15.7

MARYLAND                                   1,400               3%                   0.0

REMAINDER OF U.S.                     16,265             37%

TOTAL CASES                                 44,502            100%               17.4

Source of U.S. statistics: CDC HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, Vol. 21, Table 19

For a list of places to go get tested, check out this list of Tampa Bay HIV testing resources. For more information about HIV/AIDS or to find a location where you can be tested call or text 877-242-8710.