Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Today is World AIDS Day observed. It’s difficult to believe today marks the start of the fourth decade of the epidemic. While much medical progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, the sobering fact is, the CDC estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States and one in five (21%) of those people living with HIV don’t know they’re HIV-positive.
Despite increases in the total number of people living with HIV in the U.S. in recent years, the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable which is a good thing. However, new HIV infections continue at a rate of 56,300 Americans each year.
While gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men represent the majority of people affected by HIV/AIDS, African-Americans who represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population account for almost half (46%) of people living with HIV in the U.S., and straight people account for 31% of new annual HIV infections and 28% of people living with HIV. These are truly staggering numbers.
In all, 33 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. I had hoped President Obama would make finding a cure for HIV a centerpiece of his administration but alas, he prefers to squander the resources of this nation continuing George W. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shame on Mr. Obama.