New HIV/AIDS Challenges Facing America
March 8, 2002
Fact: Americans have become increasingly complacent about HIV and AIDS and the fact that it remains the leading cause of death for certain populations.
Fact: Fifty percent of all new HIV infections are in young people under the age of 24.
Fact: One-third of the 900,000 HIV-positive men and women living in the United States do not know their HIV status, and as a result are not benefiting from life-prolonging care and treatment.
Fact: A preliminary report from the CDC shows the number of new AIDS cases in the United States increased by 8 percent in 2001. States such as Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia experienced particularly significant increases in new AIDS cases last year.
Fact: African Americans, Latinos and women are being disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Over 70 percent of all new HIV infections occur among African Americans and Latinos, yet they make up only 31 percent of the nations population.
Fact: Drug-resistant strains of HIV are beginning to show up in the newly infected -- making prevention for HIV positive individuals a critical part of our nations comprehensive prevention efforts.
Fact: Science-based comprehensive HIV prevention and tested public health risk reduction strategies, policies and resources are being attacked.
Fact: The smallpox vaccine currently being stockpiled by the U.S. government is not safe for individuals living with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV and cancer. An effective rapid response HIV test is also needed to aid in our nations bioterrorism preparedness efforts.
Fact: Many community-based AIDS service organizations have seen their charitable-related incomes decline as a result of the national shift in charitable giving -- putting at risk our nations comprehensive public health system and our ability to maintain or expand access to HIV/AIDS care.
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.