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HIV / AIDS in America

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.

Healthy, Fast, and Delicious Breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s all too tempting to start your day off on the wrong dietary foot. Sugary cereals, buttery pastries, and greasy bacon may all tempt you go astray, but I’m here to tell you, there are easy, healthy options that will give you the energy you need for a great day.

Natural Peanut Butter on Whole Wheat Toast

Empty carbohydrates are rightly out of vogue at the moment for their low nutritional value and high glycemic impact, but whole wheat bread is packed with complex carbohydrates, which take longer for your body to digest, meaning you burn more calories doing so, and the energy stays with you for longer, delineated like an IV drip of good nutrition.

The variety of peanut butter you choose is critical to the healthiness of this breakfast. Many peanut butters, while tasty, are loaded up with more high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils than you can shake a stick at, meaning they’ll be packed with sugar and trans fats(the particularly nasty kind of fat.) Look for a natural brand with no added sugar or preservatives. It’ll still have a hardy and delicious nutty flavor, but now you can enjoy it guilt free, and your body will thank you.

Just throw a piece of whole wheat bread in the toaster while you get ready. Once it pops, spread on a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and you’ve got a breakfast with all the minerals, nutrients, vitamins, and energy a person needs. Word to the wise though, be careful with your portions when it comes to the peanut butter. It’s pretty calorically dense, so if you’ll excuse the horrible pun, don’t go nuts.

Cereal

I know I opened up this article with a bit of a demonization of our fine boxed friend, but not all cereal is bad. In fact, there are many cereal options that will taste good, give you that satisfying crunch, and keep you feeling healthy.

Finding a healthy cereal with the taste that’s right for you is the real key here. No one’s going to be happy if they start off their day eating a big bowl of something they hate. Look for whole-grain options that have as much fiber and protein as possible as well as very low sugar and fat content. Fiber and protein both keep you feeling fuller for longer and give you lots of energy. The brand I’ve found to not only have the best specs, but also consistently delicious is anything in Kashi’s “GoLean” line. Just top it off with a bit of skim milk and you’re ready to go.

Now the easy factor for preparing cereal is pretty much legendary, but I do have to give one more nagging reminder. Just like everything in life, moderation is important. After all that label-reading you did selecting a healthy brand of cereal, it’d be a silly thing to go and eat three times the serving suggestion, then declare it healthy. If it says a cup, dust off a cup and measure it out. It may seem excessive, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re feeling light and healthy after avoiding overeating.

Yogurt Parfait

When trying to stay healthy dairy often gets kicked to the curb. This however, should not be the case. Today we have many low or even no fat dairy options, and studies show that they can actually assist weight loss as well as supplying you with all the often-neglected calcium your body needs.

Look for a brand of Yogurt that has the right balance or low fat and low sugar. It wouldn’t hurt to avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame that have been linked to such scary and not at all healthy breakfast-friendly terms like cancer. There should be lots of health-beneficial options available to you at your local grocery store.

A classical parfait would suggest a liberal sprinkling of granola, but despite it’s health-food reputation, granola is pretty suspect. It has a tendency to be loaded with way more fat and sugar than you’d expect, just the kind of stuff that will lead to a crash when you need the energy most. Instead, why not reach for a box of crunchy, healthy cereal that you just acquired while reading the last part of this article? Sounds like a good idea to me.

Throw these in a bowl and mix in whatever berries or cut-up fruit you have at your disposal. Fruit, in general, is a great bodily fuel to start the day. They’re packed with vitamins, water, that hydrates as well as making you feel full, fiber, anti-oxidants, which help prevent that nasty cancer-thing, and most importantly to me, flavor.