30 years later about 50,000 Americans still become infected with HIV each year. This number has remained steady for the last 10 years. Currently, more people are living with HIV which translates into more opportunities to transmit the virus. This is why routine HIV testing and prevention is so important.
Dr. Kevin Fenton, chief of AIDS prevention for the CDC says, 50,000 is an unacceptably high level and without better prevention efforts, we’re likely to face an era of rising infection rates.
In fact, if the number of people living with HIV continues to grow, the stability will be short-lived. For most risk groups, infection rates remain stable with 61 percent of cases contracted through gay or bi-sexual sex, 27 percent through heterosexual sex and 9 percent through drug injections. However, the new HIV incidence data show that infections among African- American gay and bi-sexual men has rapidly increased by 48 percent.
The new generation of both men and women must be reached, so that they can learn how to protect themselves from HIV. We cannot become complacent.
Things that you can do to protect yourself and others include:
Routine HIV testing
Change your behavior
Use condoms EVERY time you engage in ANY sexual behavior
Be informed about HIV/AIDS