HIV isn’t talked about as much as in the past, but it’s still out there.
There was a time when HIV seemed like a death sentence. Afflicted men and women were treated like lepers. But with science and awesome advancements in technology, treating the virus and keeping it suppressed has led to HIV and AIDS treatment and a decreased social stigma.
If you are sexually active with new partners, you don’t need a lecture on safe sex. While practicing abstinence is the best thing to do, it’s not realistic for most people. We are sexual creatures who have sexual needs. It’s up to everyone to encourage others to use condoms in order to prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs.
Even though it might not affect you now, it’s still important to learn the facts.
What is HIV?
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know exactly what HIV is. It stands for human immunodeficiency virus, and it weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. It only hit the U.S. in the late 1970s, but scientists believe it dates back to the 1800s from chimpanzees.
How many Americans are infected with HIV?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 1.2 million people are living with HIV. There are roughly 50,000 new cases every year. Shockingly, one in every eight Americans are living with the virus and don’t know they have it, which makes it important to get tested (the results take minutes) after every new sexual partner.