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World AIDS Day
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World AIDS Day Message From President Obama
What is World AIDS Day?
Video: How Do You Know If You Have AIDS
CDC Facts and Figures: AIDS/HIV Epidemic
At the end of 2003, an estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000
persons in the United States were living with HIV/AIDS.
In 2003, 32,048 cases of HIV/AIDS were reported from the
33 areas (32 states and the US Virgin Islands) with
long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting. When
all 50 states are considered, CDC estimates that
approximately 40,000 persons become infected with HIV
In 2003, men who have sex with men (MSM) represented the
largest proportion of HIV/AIDS diagnoses, followed by
adults and adolescents infected through heterosexual
contact. In 2003, almost three quarters of HIV/AIDS
diagnoses were made for male adolescents and adults.
Persons of minority races and ethnicities are
disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2003,
African Americans, who make up approximately 12% of the
US population, accounted for half of the HIV/AIDS cases
During the mid-to-late 1990s, advances in treatment
slowed the progression of HIV infection to AIDS and led
to dramatic decreases in AIDS deaths. Although the
decrease in AIDS deaths continues (3% decrease from 1999
through 2003), the number of AIDS diagnoses increased an
estimated 4% during that period.
Better treatments have also led to an increasing number
of persons in the United States who are living with
AIDS. From the end of 1999 through the end of 2003, the
number of persons in the United States who were living
with AIDS increased from 311,205 to 405,926—an increase
I'm HIV Positive! Now What?
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Groundbreaking Documentaries About AIDS/HIV
Govt Report: World AIDS Day
Basic Info: AIDS/HIV Facts
Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome, more commonly known as
HIV, is a virus that, if left untreated, slowly damages
the body's immune system. Without a strong, healthy
immune system, the body becomes susceptible to many
infections and illnesses. If a person living with HIV
becomes sick with one of the more serious types of these
infections, they are said to have Acquired
Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. While there is no
cure for HIV or AIDS, people are living long productive
lives, thanks to HIV medicines and aggressive treatment
How HIV is Transmitted:
Contrary to public perception, you can't get HIV
infected by drinking from a water fountain, sitting on a
toilet seat, hugging or touching an HIV infected person,
or by eating off plates and utensils.
The following are ways HIV can be transmitted from one
person to another:
--By way of bodily fluids (blood, semen, vaginal
secretions) during sexual contact. Saliva is not
considered a transmission route for HIV.
--By sharing needles to inject drugs. Infected blood can
be exchanged between the parties who are using the same
needle and syringe.
--By accidental needle sticks (needles contaminated with
HIV infected blood).
--Through the transfusion of infected blood or blood
products (because of new and improved blood screening
tools, this has rarely occurred since 1992).
--HIV infected woman can pass HIV to their babies while
pregnant, during delivery, or when breast feeding.
HIV Signs and Symptoms:
Often people who are HIV infected have few or no
symptoms. Other times, symptoms of HIV are confused with
other illnesses such as the flu. If a person were to
have symptoms they would include:
--Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin or under the
--Unexplained weight loss
--Fever, chills or sweats (especially at night)
--Frequent pneumonias or shortness of breath
How to Prevent HIV Infection:
--Speak openly with partners about safer sex techniques
and HIV status.
--If you don't know your status, get an HIV test to
protect yourself and others.
--Get tested with your partner as a way of saying "you
care and want both of you to stay healthy."
--Use a latex condom with each oral, anal or vaginal
sexual encounter. Those with latex allergies should use
--Do not share needles or syringes if you inject drugs.
If you do inject drugs, seek professional help to kick
--HIV infected pregnant women should get into regular
prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care.
--HIV infected women should not breast feed.
[Source: Mark Cichocki]
US HHS: AIDS Information
AVERT: AIDS Information and Education
AMFAR: Foundation for AIDS Research
SIECUS: PREP Education
Coping With AIDS/HIV
This article is intended for a person diagnosed with
HIV/AIDS, or those who have a friend/partner with
The Center for Disease Control estimates that currently
1.2 million people in the United States are living with
HIV infection. New infections continue at a high level,
with approximately 50,000 Americans becoming infected
with HIV each year.
In this article we will discuss taking control of life.
If you, or your friend/partner, has begun to learn to
live with HIV, then you may have realized that in spite
of an inescapable infection and the inevitable
accompanying emotions, you’re in charge. Three ways you
can help yourself or your friend/partner begin taking
control of life include dividing and conquering,
positive denial, and maintaining equilibrium.
Dividing and Conquering
First, let’s discuss dividing and conquering. Dan, age
27, had stated, “My life is over. Having HIV is just too
much for me to handle.” However, Dan began to cut his
overwhelming and insoluble problems into manageable,
solvable parts by dividing and conquering. There are
steps you can take to divide and conquer. First, Dan
had divided his problems into those that had solutions
and those that did not. Next, he focused on the
problems that had solutions and accepted those that did
For example, Dan had been worrying about how his family
would deal with his death. But, there is no way to
solve the problem that your death will cause problems
for your family. Perhaps you can solve some of the
problems actually caused by your death. Can you think
of anything you can do now to make your passing easier?
In addition to dividing problems into those which have
solutions and those that do not have solutions, and
focusing on the problems with solutions and accepting
those that do not, the third step to dividing and
conquering is for you or your friend/partner to begin to
implement solutions. Dan acknowledged this and stated,
“You know, I’m a real junk collector. I should probably
get rid of all the stuff that I have so my family
doesn’t have to deal with it when I’m gone.”
Another HIV victim, Stephanie, viewed the divide and
conquer technique as a way to escape the ‘big picture.’
Stephanie, age 33, stated, “I just solve little
problems, one at a time. You’d be surprised, but they
add up. So I’ve just focused on making each day better,
and, before you know it, I had a few good years.”
Second, let’s examine positive denial. Aaron’s HIV had
progressed rapidly due to genital herpes. At first,
Aaron stated, “That sounds like an oxymoron, like you
want me to avoid facing the facts,” regarding positive
denial. However, whether denial is positive or negative
depends on what you are denying. Denial is negative if
you deny your infection and live inappropriately by
putting yourself or others at greater risk. Denial that
admits both the realities of today and the
unpredictability of tomorrow can be positive.
For example, if you are preoccupied with uncertainty
about the future or death, but need a new car, you can
use positive denial to deny doubt regarding the future
and perhaps purchase a new car on a finance plan. Aaron
later stated, “You really do have to deny some of this
stuff. It still makes me sad to think about death, but
death hasn’t happened yet, so I need to live while I
In addition to dividing and conquering and positive
denial, a third way you might begin taking control of
your life is by maintaining equilibrium. As you know,
living with an HIV infection requires balancing hope and
uncertainty. Robert stated, “The balance is tricky. I
think the best way to manage it is to reduce stress.”
Dan, who divided and conquered the problem of how his
death would affect his family, stated, “The best way to
maintain equilibrium is to adhere to the medication.”
Dan had used a simple five step technique to assess his
ability to adhere to medication treatment before
beginning. Dan stated, “First, I got a thirty day
supply of once-a-day vitamins. Then, I marked my start
date and, thirty days later, my end date on a calendar.
I decided it might help, so I also wrote the beginning
and end dates on the vitamin bottle.”
Dan then began taking the vitamins once a day. After
thirty days, Dan reached his end date and checked the
bottle to see how many vitamins were left over. Dan
evaluated himself on his adherence using a percentage
scale. Dan later stated, “By knowing where I stood on
adherence ahead of time, I think I was better prepared
when I got going on the real medication.”
We have discussed taking control of life. Three ways
you can begin taking control of your life includes
dividing and conquering, positive denial, and
[Source: Tracy Appleton, LCSW, Director, Continuing
Education, Healthcare Training Institute]
DC Mayor Deals With HIV Epidemic in Nation's Capital
History of AIDS/HIV in Posters
CDC: World AIDS Day
Video: Science of AIDS and HIV
AIDS/HIV Info: History and Statistics
AIDS was first identified in the US in 1981. The
epidemic has now spread to every part of the US and to
all sectors of society. It is thought that more than one
million people are living with HIV in the US and that
more than half a million have died after developing
American HIV surveillance data are not comprehensive so
many statistics must be based on reports of AIDS
diagnoses. In interpreting such AIDS statistics, it is
important to remember that they do not correspond to new
HIV infections. Most people live with HIV for several
years before developing AIDS.
People Living With AIDS
At the end of 2004, the CDC estimates that 415,193
people were living with AIDS in the USA. Of these…
--35% were white
--43% were black
--20% were Hispanic
--1% were of other race/ethnicity
Of the adults and adolescents with AIDS, 77% were men.
Of these men…
--58% were men who had sex with men (MSM)
--21% were injection drug users (IDU)
--11% were exposed through heterosexual contact
--8% were both MSM and IDU
Of the 93,566 adult and adolescent women with AIDS…
--64% were exposed through heterosexual contact
--34% were exposed through injection drug use.
An estimated 3,927 children were living with AIDS at the
end of 2004, of whom 97% probably acquired the infection
from their mothers.
People with AIDS are surviving longer and are
contributing to a steady increase in the number of
people living with AIDS. This trend will continue as
long as the number of new diagnoses exceeds the number
of people dying each year.
AIDS Diagnoses and Deaths
In June 1981, the first cases of what is now known as
AIDS were reported in the USA. During the 1980s, there
were rapid increases in the number of AIDS cases and
deaths of people with AIDS. Cases peaked with the 1993
expansion of the case definition, and then declined. The
most dramatic drops in both cases and deaths began in
1996, with the widespread use of combination
The rate of decrease in AIDS diagnoses slowed in the
late 1990s. After reaching a plateau, the number of
diagnoses increased slightly each year from 2001 to
2004. There were an estimated 42,514 diagnoses in 2004.
In total, an estimated 944,306 people have been
diagnosed with AIDS.
The number of deaths among people with AIDS remained
relatively stable in the period 1999-2003, before
dropping slightly to an estimated 15,798 deaths in 2004.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, an estimated
529,113 people with AIDS have died in the US.
AIDS Memorial Walk: Too Many Names
Huff Post: 10 Years of Living with HIV
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After a Decade: Global AIDS Program Looks Ahead
HIV Positive and Undetectable
Does HIV/AIDS Stigma Affect Infection Rate?
Who is affected by AIDS?
During the 1990s, the epidemic shifted steadily toward a
growing proportion of AIDS cases among black people and
Hispanics and in women, and toward a decreasing
proportion in MSM, although this group remains the
largest single exposure group. Black people and
Hispanics have been disproportionately affected since
the early years of the epidemic. In absolute numbers,
blacks have outnumbered whites in new AIDS diagnoses and
deaths since 1996, and in the number of people living
with AIDS since 1998.
From 2000 to 2004, the estimated number of new AIDS
cases increased in all racial/ethnic groups. Over the
same period, the estimated number of new AIDS diagnoses
increased by 10% among women and by 7% among men. The
number of new cases probably due to heterosexual contact
grew by 20%, and the number probably due to sex between
men grew by 15%, but the number among injecting drug
users fell by 12%.
During 2004 there were an estimated 48 pediatric AIDS
diagnoses, compared to 190 in 1999 and 823 in 1994. The
decline in pediatric AIDS incidence is associated with
more HIV testing of pregnant women and the use of
zidovudine (AZT) by HIV-infected pregnant women and
their newborn infants.
The age group 35-44 years accounted for 39% of all AIDS
cases diagnosed in 2004. Nearly three-quarters of all
people who have died with AIDS did not live to the age
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NYC AIDS Memorial
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World AIDS Day
On December 1, World AIDS Day 2005, the Sexuality
Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)
reaffirms our commitment to raise awareness of the
HIV/AIDS pandemic both in the U.S. and worldwide. In
observance of this year's theme, Stop AIDS - Keep the
Promise, SIECUS will continue to promote the importance
of comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education
as the mainstay in HIV prevention.
"To keep the promise of a world free of AIDS, both here
in the U.S. and worldwide, we must recognize young
people's right to healthy sexuality. This includes the
right to comprehensive sexuality information and
education," said Joseph DiNorcia, Jr., president and CEO
"HIV prevention does not exist in a vacuum, and young
people require a wide range of services and support.
Without honest and complete education, other
interventions to keep our youth HIV-free are
meaningless," DiNorcia continued.
This generation of young people has not known a world
without AIDS. For too many young people, AIDS is not an
abstraction-it has touched their lives. Often AIDS has
taken a gruesome toll on their communities and families,
and many young people, especially in the countries
hardest hit by the pandemic, are coming of age as
HIV-positive people. Young people ages 15-24 account for
half of all the new cases of HIV worldwide. Every
minute, five young people worldwide become infected with
HIV. This figure represents over 7,000 young people each
day. Yet only 20% of people worldwide who need
prevention services have access to them.
"Young people can and must be part of solving the
HIV/AIDS crisis. Providing them with accurate and
complete information about their sexual health not only
serves to protect their health and safety, but also
creates the next generation of informed educators and
community leaders," said DiNorcia.
U.S. support for global HIV-prevention programs,
however, seems geared to keeping young people in the
dark rather than empowering them to make informed
choices about relationships, sex, and their futures. The
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the
guiding policy for global HIV/AIDS funding, offers no
policy support or funding for comprehensive
HIV-prevention programs. Instead, PEPFAR will provide
not less than $133 million annually to
abstinence-until-marriage programs in each of 15 "focus
countries" in Africa and the Caribbean, as well as
Vietnam , totaling at least $665 million over five
years. Research on the effectiveness of such programs in
the U.S. has been inconclusive at best and at worst has
shown potential harm to the sexual health of young
"While the commitment of the United States government in
stemming the tide of HIV/AIDS is laudable, the great
potential of this initiative is being lost because the
politics and ideology of the Bush Administration are
trumping public health needs," said DiNorcia. "We cannot
keep young people in the dark if we expect to fight the
spread of HIV/AIDS in any meaningful way," DiNorcia
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