The scourge of AIDS is receding among heterosexuals, drug users and women but at the same time it is increasing in young gay and bisexual males. This fact was highlighted in the latest report by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which states that the diagnosis rate of HIV has dropped by one third in the general population; the prevalence of AIDS is increasing alarmingly in Gays and bisexuals.
AIDS was first reported in the 1980’s and the younger generations were well educated about disease and its aspects. After 30 years the sense of urgency has waned and worse, the CDC report contained data about people actually suffering from HIV and does not include those people who are unaware of the fact that they are HIV positive. The data given by CDC also suffers from another anomaly-it does not state the date when the disease was contracted. This makes determining trends of the disease difficult to pinpoint.
The increase in incidence of AIDS in Gays and bisexuals are a worrying aspect. 1.1 million Persons in the U.S. are estimated to have contracted HIV and 16% of that number which is roughly 176,000 people don’t know they have the disease.
The figures released by CDC reveals that there has been a 33% fall in diagnosis of HIV in persons who are 13 years and above and stood at 16 per 100,000 persons as compared to 24 per 100,000 persons in the period stretching from 2002 to 2011. The fall was more dramatic in women which saw a 50% drop in diagnosis. In blacks the diagnosis plunged by 37%, and Hispanics dropped by 41%. For persons who had heterosexual sex, the number dropped more than 33% for men and women.
However among males 13-24, the number of HIV diagnoses soared. New diagnoses climbed from 3,000 to 7,000. The next step in the fight against AIDS will be to target the young gay and bisexual males.
Dr. David Margolis, an AIDS specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wants to give HIV drugs to that same population even if they have not contracted the disease. He said, “The use of antiviral to prevent HIV infection is fraught with many challenges, but if there is a more than doubling of new infections in one demographic, perhaps something needs to be done.”