It's horrible news that more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. now have AIDS. (I guess that's what happens when politicians cut sex education funding. As a result, new AIDS cases amongst men, which were falling during the nineties, rose 41% from 1999 to 2003.)
The latest information reveals a new face to AIDS that is significantly different than public perceptions:
- Gay and bisexual men make up only 45% -- a minority -- of new AIDS cases.
- Over 27% of new AIDS cases come through heterosexual sexual conduct.
- Approximately 27% of new AIDS cases are related to drug use.
- Of these newly infected drug users, the great majority are heterosexual.
- Over 25% of those living with AIDS are women.
- Over 50% of new AIDS cases in the U.S. are contracted by black Americans.
- Over one in 50 black males in the United States is infected with HIV.
- AIDS infections for Asian and Pacific Islanders went up by 39.7%.
In other words, what we are looking at here is the emurgence of a minority-oriented, primarily heterosexual disease, which spreads through ignorance, poverty, and an unwillingness of conservative politicians and religious groups to fight the disease in a realistic, comprohensive manner.
"Just say no" doesn't work.