Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is basically just like any other virus that infects the body. Recent Studies have shown that the number of HIV patients affected by the virus has become become more prevalent. This virus is different because, unlike most, the defense system of the human body is unable to fight back and eliminate the virus. HIV specifically targets white blood cells to replicate themselves, destroying the human cell in the process. This makes people suffering with the virus highly susceptible to other sicknesses. If the virus destroys too many of the white blood cells, the virus becomes AIDS.
HIV has always been in the spotlight when it comes to gay males. Numerous studies have shown that even now the virus is found in an almost epidemic number of this group. Research studies often refer to “men who have sex with men” (MSM). This term is more fitting, because not all men who have sex with men consider themselves gay. This group continues to have the highest percentage of people suffering than any other risk group. The Center for Disease Control released findings that revealed that 1.1 million people in the United States are suffering with HIV. One-in-six of these individuals are reported to be completely unaware of the virus’ presence.
In 2012 the CDC released surprising information that revealed that every year the United States sees an increase of about 50,000 cases of HIV. The study found that about 75 per-cent of new cases of the virus were transmitted between MSM individuals. Young, black MSM individuals have experienced the worst of the epidemic accounting for over half of the young MSM population. In fact, black patients are the most prevalent of all risk groups. This demographic accounted for almost half (44 per-cent) of all new HIV cases reported.
The CDC reports that these numbers have stayed steady over that past years. They are still too high for anyone to feel comfortable, though the epidemic is much more controlled than it was in the 90’s. The CDC has new energy in finding ways to effectively slow, and eventually stop the transmission of the life changing virus. The study they released suggests a high-impact approach to prevention. The agency is still hanging on to the dream that one day HIV will stop affecting more patients.
The high-impact approach will start by allotting $415 million to prevention programs. Researchers will also be working on new bio-medical and behavioral approaches to preventing transmission. The CDC will continue to monitor the epidemic closely, using comprehensive surveillance systems located nationally. More focus will be put on the education, and communication. The CDC will launch campaigns that outline the true facts about HIV. Through this they hope to educate millions more on the importance of safer sex practices. The CDC will also lend support to other federal agencies, as well as assist state programs and community organizations. This will allow the CDC to track what information these organizations are giving to people, and how it is being used. The CDC can also make sure that organizations are being truthful, and sharing valid facts concerning the virus and its transmission. These new measures will assist the CDC in preventing HIV from affecting more patients.
By Joshua Shane