HIV Infection Rates
- HIV continues to be a serious threat to the overall health of minority communities within the LGBTQ+ community.
- In 2017, adult and adolescent Hispanic/Latinos made up nearly 26% (9,889) of the 38,739 new HIV cases reported in the US.
- Black Americans made up nearly 10,000 new cases.
- White Americans made up nearly 7,000 new cases.
- This disparity between infection rates is linked directly to a community’s access to prevention methods and outreach by public health departments (oftentimes underfunded in certain jurisdictions).
How Medication and Education Increases Life Expectancy
- It was not until 1987 that the very first antiretroviral, AZT, was approved for use to combat HIV/Aids.
- The drug was not without severe and sometimes fatal side effects.
- A new drug, 3TC, was developed in 1996 and showed an immediate decline in AIDS-related deaths, some accounts nearly 60-80%.
- There are currently many different drugs used to treat the disease; each is tailored to a specific strain and/or personal tolerance.
- Adequate education around prevention and treatment can significantly decrease the spread of HIV in our community.
- PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) can be an amazing prevention method when used correctly and as prescribed by a doctor.
Living with a “positive status”
- Receiving a diagnosis of HIV can be a life-changing event. But HIV does not equal death. Most people with HIV live long and healthy lives if they get and stay on treatment.
- There will be a period of adjustment. People who are newly diagnosed can feel many emotions—sadness, hopelessness, and even anger. Pay attention to your mental health.
- Your HIV health care provider can help you access mental health services to help you work through the early stages of your diagnosis and begin to manage your HIV.
- If you do not have one, contact us to discuss finding one that works for you.
- Talking to others who have HIV may also be helpful. You are not alone.
- Contact us for help with finding an HIV support group. Speaking with others on how they’ve managed their diagnosis can be extremely therapeutic.