According to the CDC, of all women found to be infected, black women make up the largest percentage. The estimated rate of new HIV infections in 2009 among black women was 15 times that of white women and over three times that of Hispanic/ Latina women. According to a recent study though, these numbers may be even higher than previously estimated in urban areas. A very compelling conclusion in the study being where the percentages found are comparable to some African countries.
HIV and AIDS has been a scourge across the world for over 30 years now and vigilance must be kept in order to keep infection down. Detection, after precaution is probably the most important action we may take in curbing the epidemic. People with at risk behavior, such as injection drug users or those who have unprotected sex are even more likely to be infected.
While it is impossible for an individual to combat an epidemic, there are common sense things one should do to protect oneself:
- Apply universal precautions – Treat all body fluids as though they are infected with something. Some people may know this through OSHA training or reading materials.
- Use protection when engaging in sexual activities.
- Don’t share needles.
- Get tested – Ignorance is not an answer; it not only harms you but potentially anyone in contact with you.
One might say “these are common sense” but common sense actually seems quite uncommon when as of 2010, 47,129 people were newly diagnosed with HIV since 2007 in 46 states.
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