HIV/AIDS Overview

HIV is the Human Immune deficiency virus; AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a collection of symptoms and infections caused by HIV. Since the 1980’s HIV/AIDS has been running rampant not just across the World, but also in America.

In 1999 an estimated 39,551 people had AIDS. In 2003, that number jumped to 41,831. The number of people testing HIV positive was somewhere between 1,039,000 and 1,185,000. Approximately 24% of the people who were HIV positive were undiagnosed and unaware that they were living with this disease. Because they were unaware and undiagnosed, it is more likely that they could spread the disease.

Risk by Transmission

HIV/AIDS can be, and is, transmitted a number of ways; unprotected homosexual or heterosexual sex (including anal, oral and vaginal), injection (or intravenous) drug use, perinatal transmission (mother to child) and in rare occurrences, blood transfusions. All of these transmissions have one thing is common; the sharing of bloodily fluids (i.e. semen, blood, ect.).

Male to male sexual contact is the leading transmission HIV/AIDS. In 2005 it was estimated the 454,106 men had contracted HIV/AIDS from male to male sexual contact (anal or oral sex).

High risk heterosexual sex, meaning heterosexual sex with a person known to have, or be at high risk for, HIV infection, came in second, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at 164,850. High risk heterosexual sex affected more women than men, at about a 6-4 ratio.

Injection drug use, although high in numbers, is second from the bottom on the list. In 2005, an estimated 8,985 people were infected by AIDS by using injection drugs. Injection drug use affected more men than women, in 2005, at a ratio of about 65-35.

Perinatal and blood transfusions fall into the “Other” category, along with hemophilia and not identified. The “other” category has the fewest number of estimated AIDS cases in 2005. An estimated 540 people were infect with AIDS, in 2005, by “other” means. Men were affected slightly more than women in this category, but not by a lot.

Risk by Race or Ethnicity

In 2005, Black, non-Hispanics were the racial group with the largest estimated AIDS population at 18,510. White, non-Hispanics were close behind them at 11,758. Hispanics estimated AIDS population was at 6,944. Asian/Pacific Islanders were a mere 429. However, American Indians/Alaskan Natives had the fewest estimated AIDS cases in 2005, at a measly 198.

Risk by Area

In 2005 the 10 states, or dependant areas, reporting the highest number of cumulative AIDS case were: New York, at 172,377, California at 137,019, Florida at 100,809, Texas at 67,227, New Jersey at 48,431, Illinois at 32595, Pennsylvania at 31,977, Georgia at 30,405, Maryland at 29,116 and Puerto Rico at 29,092.

Death from AIDS

It is estimated that in 2005 the number of people that died from AIDS or AIDS related issues in the United States was 17,011. That is more than 40% of the people in the United States that had AIDS in 2005.


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