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.