Welcome to December, and World AIDS Day. The theme this year is “Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation”. Great progress is being made in the fight everyday, but what you don’t know about AIDS could, well, kill you.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that at some point her lifetime, 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
- At increased risk of contracting HIV: Black and Latina women. Chances are 1 in 32 for African American women and 1 in 106 for Hispanic women. That’s compared to 1 in 182 for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander women; 1 in 217 for American Indian/Alaska Native women; and 1 in 526 for both white and Asian women.
- What’s one-fifth of 1.1 million? More than 1.1M people in the United States live with HIV, but a fifth of them don’t know it. When you meet these folks, you won’t know it, either.
- Worldwide, HIV/AIDS is a heterosexual pandemic. In the U.S. it is still largely impacting gay and bisexual men, and mainly in big cities.
- Women represent more than 25% of America’s AIDS diagnoses in 2009 (34,247) and nearly 20% of cumulative AIDS diagnoses (including children) in the U.S. to date.
- Among American women living with HIV, most caught it from “high-risk heterosexual contact” (no condom, etc.) and injection drug use. Unprotected anal sex is riskier for women than unprotected vaginal sex.
- There were 8,647 AIDS diagnoses among women in 2009 compared with 9,639 AIDS diagnoses among women in 2006.
- Good news: The cost of drugs to fight HIV is decreasing. A year’s worth of meds for one person cost $10,000 in 2000; the cost is down to $100/year today.
If only more women could accept their own power. Say it and mean it: “No glove, no love,” When the guy says he’s not putting up with that, tell him you’re not putting out for him. As Steve Harvey puts it in its best-selling book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man:
“It’s you who decides if you’re going to give us any of the things we want, and how, exactly, we’re going to get them. Where you stand in our eyes is dictated by YOUR control over the situation. Every word you say, every move you make, every signal you give to a man will help him determine whether he should try to play you, be straight with you, or move on to the next woman to do a little more sport fishing.”
Find out everything you need to know to protect yourself at AIDS.gov. Do it today.