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Getting to Zero: What Stands in the Way?


Nelson Vergel

Nelson Vergel

Program for Wellness Restoration, Houston; Diagnosed in 1986

More than 65 percent of new infections come from people who infect others and do not know their own status. Stigma drives denial, so many people are afraid to get tested and if they test positive, many are afraid to seek care due to fears of disclosure. Young age also makes people feel invincible, so they do not think they can get HIV. Social pressures on women in some countries make it difficult for them to protect themselves. And condom-free sex feels good and does not require money to buy a condom. I seriously doubt that we can dramatically decrease infection rates. That is why we need a cure or a preventive vaccine.

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