HIV/AIDS Summary - HIV/AIDS has been and remains the most serious new disease of the late 20th century. There is no cure for the disease. The only treatments currently available are drug cocktails that slow the progress of the disease, and these tend to be expensive and are not widely available to most people in developing countries. There are about 60 million adults that have the disease, and this is expected to grow to 100 million by 2005.
HIV/AIDS in the US - In the US there are approximately 900,000 people with HIV/AIDS, and about 1/3 of these people do not even know that they have it. About 70% of the infected people in the US are male, and the US is adding more than 40,000 new HIV/AIDS victims per year. Over 400,000 people have died from AIDS in the US. Contrary to popular opinion, this disease is no longer the domain of gay men. Only about 56% of those who contract the disease become infected as a result of homosexual sex.
AIDS Demographic - AIDS is most often contracted as a result of unprotected sex. Young people are particularly susceptible -- most people who contract AIDS are under 25. There are a lot of social and psychological reasons for this. This is a naturally exploratory period in people's lives, and effective education of this age group is difficult. Nonetheless, educational efforts to date have begun to have a positive effect in more developed countries such as the United States.
What Can WE Do About AIDS? - AIDS is a very complex problem, and many types of actions must take place to make progress against this disease. While complete concensus has not been reached, some of the key requirements cited by health experts include:
- More support from political leaders to increase the funding for AIDS treatment and educational programs
- Increased educational spending and programs to more effectively reach our youth
- Promotion of the use of condoms for protection of both parties
- Making educational programs more youth friendly so that they can be more effective
- Extending educational programs into more and more parts of the United Countries, and across the globe
- Increasing spending on AIDS research to find a cure