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These are the hard facts according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
More than 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and over 3 million of them are under the age of 15. Everyday, thousands of people contract HIV around the world.
AIDS is not one disease, but instead an umbrella of diseases that destroy the human immune system. Consequently, many scientists around the globe disagree as to what AIDS is.
- African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV.
- The rate of new HIV infection in African Americans is 8 times that of whites based on population size.
- Gay and bisexual men account for most new infections among African Americans; young gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 are the most affected of this group.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Blacks/African Americans have the most severe burden of HIV of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Compared with other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV infections, those living with HIV, and those ever diagnosed with AIDS.
- African Americans accounted for an estimated 44% of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents (aged 13 years or older) in 2010, despite representing only 12% of the US population; considering the smaller size of the African American population in the United States, this represents a population rate that is 8 times that of whites overall.
- In 2010, men accounted for 70% (14,700) of the estimated 20,900 new HIV infections among all adult and adolescent African Americans. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for African American men (103.6/100,000 population) was 7 times that of white men, twice that of Latino men, and nearly 3 times that of African American women.
- In 2010, African American gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men**b represented an estimated 72% (10,600) of new infections among all African American men and 36% of an estimated 29,800 new HIV infections among all gay and bisexual men. More new HIV infections (4,800) occurred among young African American gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24) than any other subgroup of gay and bisexual men.
- In 2010, African American women accounted for 6,100 (29%) of the estimated new HIV infections among all adult and adolescent African Americans. This number represents a decrease of 21% since 2008. Most new HIV infections among African American women (87%; 5,300) are attributed to heterosexual contact.c The estimated rate of new HIV infections for African American women (38.1/100,000 population) was 20 times that of white women and almost 5 times that of Hispanic/Latino women.
Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States for the Most-Affected Subpopulations, 2010
Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007–2010. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012; Subpopulations representing 2% or less of the overall US epidemic are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user
At some point in their lifetimes, an estimated 1 in 16 African American men and 1 in 32 African American women will be diagnosed with HIV infection.
- In 2011, an estimated 15,958 African Americans were diagnosed with AIDS in the United States.
- By the end of 2010, an estimated 260,821 African Americans ever diagnosed with AIDS had died in the United States.
African Americans face a number of challenges that contribute to the higher rates of HIV infection. The greater number of people living with HIV (prevalence) in African American communities and the fact that African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity means that they face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.
Maybe they are advocating African Americans date outside their race as it is allegedly more likely that one or both of the sex partners is infected.
African American communities continue to experience higher rates of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared with other racial/ethnic communities in the United States. Having an STI can significantly increase the chance of getting or transmitting HIV.
According to the CDC, Lack of awareness of HIV status can affect HIV rates in communities. Almost 85,000 HIV-infected people in the African American community in 2010 were unaware of their HIV status. Diagnosis late in the course of HIV infection is common, which results in missed opportunities to get early medical care and prevent transmission to others.
The poverty rate is higher among African Americans than other racial/ethnic groups. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty—including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education—directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection, and affect the health of people living with and at risk for HIV. These factors may explain why African Americans have worse outcomes on the HIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care, retention in care, being prescribed HIV treatment, and viral suppression. New data from 2010 indicate that 75% of HIV-infected African Americans aged 13 or older are linked to care, 48% are retained in care, 46% are prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and only 35% are virally suppressed.
Stigma, fear, discrimination, homophobia, and negative perceptions about HIV testing can also place too many African Americans at higher risk. Many at risk for HIV fear discrimination and rejection more than infection and may choose not to seek testing.
Years ago scientists claim a few individuals carry a mutation known as CCR5-D-32 in the CCR5 gene, protecting them against these strains of HIV.
Today, the claim is Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving the surrounding cells unharmed.
Basically, scientists from the Washington School of Medicine claim that the bee venum contains a potent toxin called melittin which penetrates and fuses with the HIV virus and destroys its protective envelope. Normal human cells are allegedly too large to be effected by the melittin.
Most anti-HIV drugs inhibit the virus’s ability to replicate. This is an anti-replication strategy that does nothing to stop the infection, and many strains of the virus have found ways around these drugs and continue reproducing. Given this discovery, a new vaginal gel could possibly be used in places where HIV is prominent. It can be used as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection and prevent the spread of HIV.
The bee venom HIV study was published in the journal Antiviral Therapy.
Whether bee venom will eventually save the day, we should practice safe sex.