According to UNAIDS, a “joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS,” the 2007 AIDS epidemic update claims that the United States has one of the highest “number of HIV infections in the world.”
In 2005, 74 percent of adults and adolescents with HIV or aids were men in the U.S. (the CDC Web site says it’s 73 percent in 2006, so dates and percents might be slightly off) and “more than half of all newly-diagnosed HIV infections (53 percent) in 2005 were among men who have sex with men,” according to the report.
Although African Americans and homosexual men appear to be most at risk for HIV/AIDS, women should still take precautions, like not having sex with numerous partners without using a condom. Fortunately, latex condoms have been found to be 98 to 100 percent in preventing HIV transmission in several studies, according to www.AIDS.org.
Women should have their partners tested for HIV/AIDS before sleeping with them and should avoid contact with blood or bodily fluids from other people. Also, do not share needles for any reason.
If you think you have HIV or AIDS, wait three to six months after your last contact (through sexual intercourse or blood/fluid exchange) with someone who might have HIV/AIDS to get tested, according to www.AIDS.org.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, many who have HIV or AIDS do not have symptoms, so do not wait for symptoms to show. Talk to your doctor about the best time to get a blood test for AIDS/HIV.
Don’t be too trusting of partners and don’t get in the mind frame of “It will never happen to me.” It is probably a good idea to get tested yearly or every other year for HIV/AIDS.
Also, realize that women are at more of a risk for HIV/AIDS than you might think. In 2004, the CDC stated on its Web site that “HIV infection was the fifth leading cause of death among all women aged 35 to 44 years and the sixth leading cause of death among all women aged 25 to 34 years.”
For African American women ages 25 to 34 years, HIV infection was the leading cause of death in 2004, according to the CDC. However, women in general were only 26 percent of those adults and adolescents diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2005.