Health : The Cost Of HIV/AIDS

The Centers for Disease Control calculates the annual estimated cost of HIV using calculations that are based on the number of new diagnoses and then multiplied by the lifetime treatment costs. The total lifetime treatment costs of HIV (based on new diagnosis in 2009) is estimated to be $16 billion ($16,000,000,000). The states with the highest financial HIV burden were Florida with 5,775 new Diagnoses and a lifetime costs of $2,120,000,000, California with 4,886 new diagnosis and lifetime costs of $1,794,000,000, New York with 4,649 new diagnosis and lifetime costs of $1,707,000,000, and Texas with 4,291 new diagnosis and lifetime costs of $1,575, 000,000.

The current lifetime treatment cost for one HIV infection is estimated to be $379,668. Prevention logic assumes that there will be a ‘lifetime’ savings of $379,668 for every infection averted. Based on this logic, it makes good financial makes sense to spend large amounts of money on HIV prevention programs that are proven to prevent new infections.

The CDC has announced grants of $339 million to state and local health departments for HIV prevention activities in 2012. The way the money is being granted has changed a great deal, with money being sent to states based on the number of people living with HIV. Previously, funding was allocated to states based on the number of people living with AIDS. This changes has created a great deal of shift and realignment in almost every health department in the nation.

Most of the federal funding will help to support prevention efforts such as HIV testing, condom distribution, and other activities to help people with HIV reduce their risk of transmitting HIV.

An additional 20 million dollars will be awarded in March, through competitive grants, to help fund innovative HIV-prevention demonstration projects.

The financial costs of prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS is staggering, but the toll taken on the emotional and physical lives of HIV-Positive individuals can not be calculated or compared to the financial costs.

Think HIV/AIDS is not your concern, well think again! HIV/AIDS is everyone’s concern. Regardless of our HIV status, we all pay for HIV/AIDS in one way or another.


There are 63 comments

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  1. JRS

    Why is it that when I see the word “pig” in a profile it’s almost always followed by the word “poz”? Are these people just selfish and self centered, concerned about their own pleasure, without the financial consequences? If you have “anything goes” in your profile, do you have $400K in your portfolio to pay for the potential costs of HIV infection?

  2. Kevin

    They can create all the progams they want and set up all the testing sites they can, but people will do what they want to do regardless. The problem isn’t lack of information or cost of medicine at this point. The fear is gone.

  3. DAN

    Million$ of billion$ –> Follow the money!! We are in a capitalist society, if the HIV business wasn’t profitable then this virus would not be classified a “pandemic”.

    Please do yourselves a favor and watch the documentary, “House of Numbers” – it will really make you rethink the whole HIV system in this country.


    EXACTLY RIGHT! BIG BUCKS FELLOWS. Don’t be naive, the big companies have a cure for HIV but they do not want to release exactly because of the billions of dollars spent our community spends on meds. Furthermore, our elected politicians are in bed with these companies because they fund their elections. If the money was spent on a vaccine like with measles, rubella and mumps like in olden days this epidemic would be a thing of the past. In our gay community the fact is anyone can get HIV, its not a matter of who but when A4A and other sites like this promote risky behavior in the first place, what are they doing (spending $) to prevent it? Oh they have a blog, so they are being responsible, right! That’s why A4A has a link to bareback sites with cum dripping out of every part of a mans body after being raw fucked. Give me a break! As long as their is lust and desire their will be HIV, so lets get a vaccine going gents and stop barking up the wrong tree. Sex has been around a long time and its not going to go away, so lets get real and get a vaccine!

  5. Steve

    I agree! Release the cure or the vaccine. 30 years of this and we still don’t have it? What does that tell you??? You can be walking down the street and get hit by a car, so are you going to preach to the next person personal safety in store parking lot? All these high n mighty people telling others how to live and putting down peeps with HIV is BS. That guy is exactly right. Its not a matter of how it could happen but when. Gay sex aint going away, you can look both ways before crossing the street and still get hit by a car. Its the same with HIV. So lets release the cure or get the vaccine. Plus the mark up on these drug is so insanely high because they got your NUTS over a barrel. Thank you elected politicians for this mess guys! All they care about is getting elected and not about you or me anyway!

  6. Rob

    I think Kevin is right. HIV is considered treatable now as opposed to terminal not that long ago. The fear isn’t there anymore. Sad.

  7. Blog

    I think what Kevin said is right. The fear is gone in some people and that can lead to horrible things. Yeah there is a treatment and you can live almost a normal life BUT is not fucking easy and definitelY NOT WORTH IT. For an hour or two of pleasure is not worth a whole life of pills and bills, and stress and stigma.
    I am poz, I have been poz for about a year, I had lots of sex, 95% of the time I thought I was being careful and safe, well gets what it wasn’t safe enough and it fucking sucks because I was more careful that many people out there and still caught it. Anyway, just want to say always be safe! and 100 percent safe. If you are the bttm like me, dont even let top get the head without condom for 3 seconds, ALWAYS be safe from start to finish.

  8. Yungobruh

    You point to the high cost of HIV/AIDS as a reason to spend more on prevention. Now consider the high cost of HIV/AIDS from another angle. All of that money being spent on treatment is being paid to somebody. Because HIV/AIDS is profitable for the drug companies and the medical industry and etc could it be that the spread, which includes lack of prevention programs, is fueled by those who are profitting? Hmmm…? Lot like the way the prison industrial complex has a vested interests in high incarceration rates. Or the way the defense industry benefits from perpetuating wars.

  9. D

    the fear is not gone. I think about it each and everytime I have a new sex partner. I Always wear a condom, but still think about it every time.

  10. Only + commenter?

    Not seeing any poz* responses, here’s mine. (*I cringe every time I type the word “poz”.)

    I recently became infected, despite being with only a limited number of people who I knew, checking in about status, and for the most part, playing safe (using condoms). I never went to orgies or drank or did drugs. I never put “anything goes” (i.e., unprotected is OK) in my profile and I always negotiated safer sex beforehand. (I just didn’t always follow through.)

    But, yes, it’s my fault. I spend a part of each day regretting my relatively small lapse in judgment. All the prevention statistics I read tell me I should have a 5% chance of infection at worst. If I was a teen girl I’d have had an unwanted pregnancy instead. And if I ever get to have sex again, it will always be with a condom.

    But I wonder how many other guys out there think they are “safe” because they “only put it in for a minute” or “they only get with neg guys”. The “anything goes” crowd isn’t the problem. The “poz pigs” are not the problem. They all have placed clear warning labels on themselves!

    It’s the “DDF-UB2” crowd who thinks it’s OK to go bare with guys who look athletic or healthy. Or the meek ones who let it slide that once. Or the men and women who are true to their partner but their partner isn’t true to them. They are all at risk and they need to get tested regularly and pursue treatment, or else they end up in the E.R. with pneumonia and THEN they find out.

    Regarding costs, I’m not sure how to interpret the numbers given. I have a full-time job with good insurance, and the public assistance programs (medicaid, ADAP, SSI) haven’t paid anything toward my care. My costs impact the insurance rates, but then so does every person who is sick/pregnant/smoking/playing extreme sports. I pay co-pays toward insurance as well as for usage: doctor visits, tests, and medications.

    My costs consist of: tests (about $1,000/appointment, depending how often–due to good care and early detection I probably only need to have tests done every 6 months, and in a year, every 12 months), appointments (about $300/appointment), and medications ($2,000/month). So the medications, which both prevent need for more detailed care and additional medications, and prevent hospitalization and help prevent transmission, are the dominant cost at $24,000/year.

    I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. My physical health is fine but the depression and anxiety are what might do me in (don’t worry, I’m getting over that hump). I’m too ashamed to tell my best friends or even show my face on my profile. But I’m trying to do the right thing now.

  11. greg

    involved since ’87; working in std clinic last 16, overwhelmed with pessimism; there are poz and not yet; at what point will we all be? (we didn’t change our ways when aids meant anally inserted death sentence, why expect to a change when hiv can be managed with one pill a day?) cost could once again be measured in lives….help!

  12. Only + commenter?

    I should add that I realize I am lucky to have good insurance and a job. Which is why my depression concerns me because I can’t lose my job!

    My point about the financial/insurance stuff was, the cost estimates from CDC must be some sort of average of insured, underinsured (such as working but insurance doesn’t cover prescriptions–a nightmare), and uninsured people.

  13. Jay

    It’s funny that such an important add this is and only 6 people commented. Kevin is absolutely right the fear is gone. People are thinking with their dicks and not worried about the consequences. It’s gotten to the point where most guys give the few decent gay guys a bad rep. Aids is real and people need to learn to love and respect themselves if not theyll be jumping from dick to dick till they die.

  14. NJL

    I am curious why this matters to anyone. It appears as propaganda to me. With that said I am in favor of treating HIV infected people early as a form of prevention. Meds reduce the virus in the blood, often to un-detectable levels.
    My experience is that most HIV infected Gay men stick with each other. The ones to worry about are the ones who have not found out yet and are living precarious lifestyles…the ones still in the first year after becoming infected.

    Most of what I read here in the comments section on this ignorant article, have been more ignorant statements. Lets not forget those who are infected with HIV are people. They are making mistakes like everyone, and learning lessons, like everyone else. We do not get to choose the life we are given, we just have to make the best of what we’ve got. And some people don’t even know that. Their lessons are different.

  15. Ryan

    The fear may not be to the degree of what it was in the late 80s/early 90s, but it is hardly gone. Otherwise myself and every one of my friends gay or straight would be infected. Lack of information isn’t a problem because efforts to educate people on HIV begin early in public school. People will obviously do what they want, but those decisions will be influenced by their knowledge of the potential consequences. Programs and testing sites will not solve the problem entirely, but pessimism is guaranteed to help nothing, Kevin.

  16. TLC

    This is to JRS’s comment poz and pig have nothing to do with irresponsible behavior, i am both and NEVER have sex with a NEGGIE ever just to be sure i havent “cost” another human being the real cost of this disease. $$$ is the last thing any of us think about when having sex. The thing i think is of the importance of honesty in a profile unlike so many lying idiots who say neg in profile so they get “dates”. Any how most of us Honest poz pigs at least disclose so all have the knowledge to choose thier actions in an informed manner. Unlike the dishonest or the preachy that pretend by putting up any old date of “testing” to claim neg.

  17. Al

    well a friend of mine was in a commited relationship for 8+ yrs never messed around wit anyone else when he found out that his cheatin lover brought him the HIV from someone he was trickin wit …. his HIV meds run him $980.00*(*him & da state) a month plus treatment and the state is cutting funding for him and others then his insurance only pays out so much a year where he has to pay with money out of his pocket that he cant afford ….. the drug companies will never find a cure for it because its so so profitable so the HIV/AIDS will never be cured in our or our GREAT grand childern life ! AINT IT SAD !

  18. Jerry

    Well it’s apparent why they don’t hurry and find a cure yet, the medical field is making millions from infected people who pay for the treatment.

  19. Positive

    The fear isn’t gone. Some people just don’t say, “hey I’m positive before we go further” “no I haven’t been tested recently (or ever) And the pigs were pigs before they poz, they just added it to the end.

    Oh thanks for the positive comments that help prevent the spread of HIV. Oh wait! They’re not -_-

  20. Andy

    Let me comment as both an individual who is HIV Positive and diagnosed with AIDS. First to JRS, when you see the word “PIG” in a profile and they happen to be POZ, it isn’t an invitation to “come on down and be the next contestant on the Wheel of misfortune”. Its a hello to other pox individuals that in our case, its “safer” for poz to poz encounters to allow “Anything Goes”. As for the costs associated with treatment… Ask the drug companies to prove their cost in research for new meds? It isn’t anything like it was when the disease was new. Pharmaceutical companies charge outrageous prices (my personal “cocktail is almost $8,000 a month – but it keeps me at an undetectable level and overall healthy. How much is your health worth to you?) The drug companies get away with highway robbery because they know that insurance companies and state medicaid agencies have no other choice but to pay the prices, none of these drugs are avail for a generic counterpart because the patent has not expired yet.
    Infection comes down to a simple (yet dangerous question) should I, or shouldn’t I insist on a condom? There are also IV drug users who share needles and contract not only HIV/AIDS but Hep C and the cost to treat a multiple infection is even grater, funny thing MOST of these are hetro/Bi men and women who further bring the infection into the gay community where its under the spotlight of being the gay plague.
    So lets just keep this in perspective, $400,000 over a lifetime, isn’t all coming from the public coffers, part is private insurance and even some (though very little) private payers or those who buy their meds in other countries at a much lower cost. $400K is $5,000 a year assuming they live to age 80 (and with better treatments and people getting on meds sooner is likely). ALSO if your in better health, your likely to be working and paying taxes and contributing to pay for “your burden on society”. If this were a cancer epidemic or even diabetes, would we really be discussing the associated costs? I mean really!!! Diabetes is (at least in over 60% of new cases) PREVENTABLE! Get rid of the couch potato who stuffs his face with big macs and super size fry’s and suddenly diabetes isn’t the epidemic its become.

    Please forgive my rant, it is disorganized and not in a proper debate format, but I simply had to voice my opinion.
    Andy –
    A Tax Paying – Productive member of the American Society who happens to have HIV/AIDS.

  21. bidude

    Honestly its the ones with anything goes and HIV- I don’t know in their profile that scares me even more. Agree the fear is gone and it is a shame, as that is what will restart the spread

  22. MK

    For those of you, who so easily decry the “recklessness” of some your HIV positive peers, I would strongly encourage you to think about the costs that result from smoking and drinking. Now, there’s a recklessness to be furious about.

  23. ttuo

    A good dialogue requires holding all assumptions and judgments. If we make HIV-AIDS a moral issue based on people’s behaviors, then we should not ignore heart disease, the number one killer in the US, and diabetes the second one.

    “Unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy environments have contributed to a tidal wave of risk factors among many Americans,” said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO. “Early intervention and evidence-based public policies are absolute musts to significantly reduce alarming rates of obesity, hypertension, tobacco use and cholesterol levels.

    In Fact, between 2010-30, the cost of medical care for heart disease (in 2008 dollar values) will rise from $273 billion to $818 billion. Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, spends nearly 30 percent of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life. Slightly more than half of Medicare dollars are spent on patients who die within two months, that equals about $120,000 a month.”

    Of course, we don’t hate grandmas and grandpas in this country as much as we hate…people with AIDS. Just my humble opinion.

  24. tantrikatholipig

    Pls, according to my humble opinion the question is much more complex than just financial issues, even if are very suitable also that discussion, on condition that facing all openely does not arouse even more prejudices and judmental feelings and behaviors between us, everybody of you guys know very well, or should at least, all men are “pigs”, allowing oneself expressing/practising that too much or not, so there is no asy solution, and we could spend on the contrary our energies trying to discover how motivate new and old gay men generations to have a life relatively free of all kind of deseases/ills..

  25. Brian

    Before people start painting everyone with hiv with the same broad brush strokes, keep in mind that there is a responsible way to have unprotected sex. First, disclose your status, talk about the viral load, then decide what you’re willing and not willing to do. Use protection if that’s the only way for you to go, but if your poz and your buddy is poz and the viral load is undetectable, I don’t see why protection is needed. Talk about other STDs too, not just HIV. Hardly anyone wants to suck a dick with a rubber on it, but no one’s screaming bloody murder over blow jobs and eating cum, even though there’s a low risk of transmitting HIV via oral sex. Basically all sex is unsafe sex, so, decide what level of risk you’re willing to take to get a good orgasm with your buddy, then fuck until your tits fall off. Lots of guys out there put “safe sex” in their profile but never even ask for a condom for anal sex. Why? Think about it. If someone claims they only have safe sex, someone else may assume they don’t have HIV and take a load up the ass thinking they can do it and not get HIV. Only about 5 percent of us are immune to HIV due to the delta 32 deletion (look it up), so very few of us can get away with barebacking all the time.

  26. vafratboy

    Not true Kevin. I mean it’s true that some people will do what they want regardless, but there is still ALOT of misinformation about HIV and HIV prevention out there. We have a generation of kids starting to have sex right now who grew up with abstinence-only sex ed who know surprisingly little about condom use. I’ve heard guys talk about how “with today’s treatments” HIV is “no big deal” who might think $400k actually is a very big deal. I was Red Cross certified to teach HIV/AIDS awareness, and you might be surprised if you actually go out and talk to people about it, just how much incorrect and inaccurate information is still widespread out there. Education is still very much a part of the solution.

  27. Ray

    These cost figures make a compelling case to make post-exposure prophylaxis universally available. Most providers try to hide this service for fear that people will use it as prevention instead of condoms.

    I think it is unlikely that masses of people will use it that way, but even if they did, this would still result in enormous cost savings.

    Consider the cost of an infection ($400K over one’s lifetime) versus the cost of one month of antivirals to avert an infection.

    I think it’s time health care providers and AIDS service organizations stopped hiding this service and started widely advertising it.

  28. bob

    I am poz. Bi and did not get with another man till I was 45. After 2 divorces and three children. Sex felt like I was making up for lost time. Then I got infected and spent time wallowing in the depression of my new found mortality. That just made me want to have more sex based on even more lost time. It wasn’t till I availed myself of some excellent programs,a health care provider I could trust, information I could understand, believe and use that I accepted it was no longer a death sentence and I’d better figure out what to do with the next 20-30 years.I wish this on no one but based on my personal growth it has also been a gift. I have 2 graduate degrees, had a career. Everything in my life is in question now. How I see the world will never be the same. Don’t judge anybody just help them find their truth whether that be with governement help or one hand extended. It can happen to anyone.

  29. Charlie

    It will come to the point where none of the treatments will be covered by insurance. If you have it, you’ll be on your own to deal with it.

  30. Keith

    The sad thing about all the numbers of people who we lose that have something to give us as a people in this world. That Die without the chance to live out their lives. Money is not the only thing we lose on the hiv/aids but the lose of the person their ideas or that they are the bread winner for a family. Also what about the problems that the drugs cause like hiv meds that cause the high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels among other things that end up costing more money for more drugs. I just don’t think there will be a cure for aids or hiv, just like cancer,heart disease it just makes to much money for to many people.

  31. Generic

    As an RN I work with a lot of AIDS and HIV+/-, most of my patients get their meds overseas, Atripla right now costs $215/30/month. One client just received a 1 years worth of Atripla for $2580.00. for a fraction of cost meds for cholesterol and triglycerides are available, buying those meds will help avoid the donut hole and allow for any/all expenses for generic if your plan covers generic in the donut hole. Are they effective, yes, just as effective as brand name, most clients are undectable and lipids are within normal limits. Take time and do the research and save yourself thousands.

    Also, my feeling is having sex with a know HIV+ on meds with an undectable viral load is a hell of a lot safer in case of accidental seeding. This conclusion is being borne out by multiple studies. It is the person who thinks they are negative, who are not, that are the most highly contagious, also a documented fact and accidental seeding will most likely result in an infection. Think about it, where is the danger, the medicated with a zero viral load or the unknown carrier with a vl in the millions?

  32. Dave

    When I was in a Dr. office recently, I read a piece on HIV and the medicines used for prevention. Recent studies were being conducted in Africa. One of the medicines was a vaccine that reduced the risk of HIV of 30+%. Therefore, vaccines are in production and are being tested, not in the USA though, its all about the return, the score. And big companies are benefiting. BUT, the reality is its not the big companies fault, it IS the politics and restrictions, the government! Far too many politicians are willing to sell us, America, for money, power, or gain. Then they call us greedy. Folks, if you don’t like the system, look at the people who established it, or who are managing it, the Government.
    In private business, when there is an issue or problem, innovative people solve those problems by applying innovative solutions. All in order to stay in business. If the government were to apply this philosophy to how it governs, we would all be better off. Instead the rationale is “lets protect the people and not let these drugs on the market because it may harm a few” Hoarse shit.

    My Two Cents. Stop hating Big Business, yell at the ones who manage the playing field, the ones who are truly to blame for this anti-capitalist movement, the government and people in charge of it, i.e. Obama, Bush, Clinton, they are all to blame. And yes, even Regan to some extent.

  33. Dave

    Also, I have a buddy who works in the medical field. Did any of you know there is a 15 min, self performed test you can take to determine if you and your partner have HIV (would require 2 tests). EVERY hospital has these. Why are they not being sold on the open market? Or given away as part of this CDC Grant? Thoughts?

  34. JRS

    TLC, I’m not talking about irresponsible behavior after being infected with HIV (ie infecting those who are negg (the cool way of saying you’re HIV negative); I’m talking about it before being infected. Who does a pig do in bed that a non-pig doesn’t do? And you didn’t tell me why, when I see the word “pig”, it’s almost always followed by the word “poz.” What is the relationship between those two words?

  35. lkn4mor

    Seems that some of the comments are very judgemental re: bb, anything goes behavior…most people playing unsafely are looking for other poz people to play with or people who assume they are or one day will eventually seroconvert to a poz status….lighten up on the judgments, afterall it takes two to tango. There are risks to playing unsafely not only HIV but syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections are on the rise. Yes, it can be a costly choice both financially and emotionally. but most humans operate under the delusion of: “it will never happen to me!”
    with risk come consequences, sometimes difficult ones to live with…let’s all be a little kinder with ourselves and with one another and suspend critical judgment!
    Happy 2012!

  36. Tracy

    I want to thank everyone for their honesty and well thought opinions on this epidemic, I am a neggie and the fear is always present when I am about to have sex. Infact, I dont have sex very often now because of fear of catching HIV. I just jack off to relieve the pressure. Will there ever come a time when anyone can have sex without the thought of dieing?

  37. Cameron

    I am someone who enjoyed unprotected sex multiple times with multiple partners for many years testing the boundaries of inhibition and common sense time after time. Fueled by limitless bareback porn, online gay websites and some small cystals that when smoked and inhaled sent ones’ libido thru the roof and on a journey of unimaginable eroticism and escapism (sound familiar?) my sexual appetite was enormous. Getting tested for HIV was out of the question-I’ll pretend not to know and everything will be allright(still sound familiar…?) Fast forward to past partners getting sick and testing pos and ones temperment changes real fast. The unimaginable can and does come true. The mental and physical anxiety waiting to see if YOU will be next is beyond description.. After three neg tests I know Im blessed to NOT have contracted this disease. I look back and have no idea what I was thinking-how could I be so damn stupid. Think twice before acting out images you see on the porn scene. I can sleep with peace of mind now, many men cant….

  38. Dumbo

    Just curious… But assuming you can’t afford medication when you become infected… Does that mean your set to die shortly after? (by that I mean much younger than intended). And if so how much sooner?

  39. Ethan

    @VAfratboy: I’m am still misinformed. I am young and have used a condom like twice in my entire twenty-five years. Still neg too surprisingly. Anyways a lot of poz people that I speak to on Adam or whatever gay sex site always tell me the same thing:
    They are non detectable and on medications. I have no idea what that really honestly means and maybe you guys can fill me in but these POZ guys have made it clear to me that they can’t infect other people and cannstill fuck me raw and I won’t contract it. Is this honestly the case?

  40. Pegasus

    We people like to judge others so fast by pointing fingers for theirs mistake
    I,m HIV for 20 years alive yes depress for taking almost 20 pills a day sure he cost money but who got the big bucks Pharmaceutic prevention he doesn’t work I personn get infected every 8mn in the usa but we love to keep track about who does what and judge them
    We are so hypocritical against each other why for the fear of what we did or will do
    Spend the money to found a cure instead of prevention for no smoking no drinking no sex no eating fat and more let be real we do what we do for what we need to do no matter what

  41. Sal

    I am reading lots of negative and angry comments from the community. Truth is, the true people at fault are those of us who are in denial and refuse to get tested. I say this, if you are not careful enough, and take someone’s word on being negative, there is something unhealthy about you. Not only is there HIV infections, there are also other uncomfortable infections out there that we should be cautious about. Kissing, oral sex, rimming, and anal sex. All risky activity. Few strap a rubber for oral sex, and trust me, your not the only one going down there… be responsible if you care at all. If you don’t, keep on ridin’ cuz your time will cum 😉

  42. dllindsey

    my story is like most others. yes i had unprotected sex….and yes i thought that guy i had sex with was hiv negative because his profile said it….and i made sure that each profile said they were negative. that was my ignorance though. little did i know that one of those guys was positive without even knowing that they were. little did i know that back in july my hiv test would come back positive. on this site….99% of the people here (just from the ones ive met) are just rude to people with hiv. they click your profile and as soon as they see the words “hiv positive” they haul ass and run the other way forgetting all types of manners and just block you. ive had this happen to me too many times. im 21 and now i spend more time worrying about being alone because i feel like no one wants me just for the simple fact that im hiv positive. ive had 2 panic attacks in the past week due to the loneliness ive been feeling for months now. and my depression has gotten even worse (diagnosed in 2010 with major depression). ive seen nothing but the bad. and the “hiv negative” people just make things worse for us.

  43. Jason

    As a man living with HIV I respect what you’ve said in your article…I’m taken back by the amount of money we spend on prevention. I do believe that it is everyones responsibility to aid in preventing the spread of this virus….but on the other hand….couldn’t this money be spent as well in finding a cure??? sometimes I have to wander if our government doesn’t keep not only HIV patients sick, but people with other ailments as well…it seems that sick people make big business way more money than well people….just food for thought. Remember…a cure doesn’t make anyone any money, but maintaining a sick individual makes them millions…..

  44. sebastian2

    well, here are my two cents: First shame on JRS’s comment, if the word pig is followed by poz, right there these pig is giving you the information you need to stay away from him/her since you as most people wouldn’t want to get infected, so I don’t know where is it that JRS’s is coming from, maybe ignorance and a great need to judged and put people down.

  45. Searayrob

    I found the prior comments quite interesting, and don’t know that I’ll ever have sex again. First I want to respond to the comment that anything goes means Poz. Not so. Just means they are willing to have unsafe sex. Maybe more appropriately it means not poz yet.
    I applaud the guys who are Poz and are upfront. In fact I am saddened by those infected by a single lapse of judgment or by a ‘committed’ partner who was not so committed. To infect someone in that situation is deplorable. I’m surprised many don’t find themselves at the receiving end of a bullet. Not suggesting that at all, but dealing with HIV is a life sentence. Obviously, a condom is required 100% for anal sex. But no one wants to suck a sick with a condom on it. Might as well put the condom on a broom stick. But we all crave sex…its a normal body function. What options do we have?

  46. Terry

    Assuming that everyone that is at risk for HIV is a well educated informed person is the biggest mistake everyone is making. The State of IL recently had a decline of 3.3% in aids incidence. To the best of my knowledge this is the only state to do so. Keep in mind Illinois continued using state funds when George Bush stop federal funds for Harm Reduction education and promoted abstinence only. NY had a 17% increase, Florida had 15% and and most of the southern states had enormous similar increases in a PREVENTABLE disease. Had the rest of the nation stayed on target for prevention education we could be experiencing these statistics everywhere. I live in IL and work hard at prevention education and awareness. I stand unafraid in the message. It still astonishes me at the number of people when I get the opportunity to discuss their personal sexual history that will think they have had little risk when actually they have had great risk… Most once taught the methods and true facts of risk reduction choose a much less risky lifestyle.. while a few no matter what the warning will play dangerously.. Also keep in mind that the undetectable status makes it nearly impossible to contract AIDS from that individual and we could be eliminating this preventable disease if we could keep the message of harm reduction alive. Most people know if they were a condom that it helps prevent stds… That is about it… There are so many factors to be included beyond that though… and it is everyones responsibility to be educators and to be educated. I think adam4adam is doing a great job at keeping the conversation going. The cure is around the corner… with the announcement and agreement that the Berlin patient was the first person cured of Aids and clinical human trials of the vaccination already occurring we are on the cusp of finally winning the war on AIDS. Meanwhile keep practicing safer sex methods and avoid this disease. even if it is not once the death sentence it was it is still a life of regimented misery…

  47. Lars

    I have read a few of the posts on here and some of them allude to the idea that there is a cure for HIV/AIDS that the “establishment” is witholding in order to rake in the dough. One must ask himself or herslef: if I know that there are greedy people holding all the chips and withholing the cure then why in the hell would I play russian roulette with my own life, being both careless and wreckless and do things that would put my own health in jeopardy, meanwhile rely upon them to do the right thing and hand over the cure?…In other words, each individual has the power to protect themselves out here and it should not be anyone elses responsibility. People are going to have to start making better choices if we are ever going to see a decline and eventually a decrease in the numbers of HIV/AIDS infections.

  48. dllindsey

    @ Lars: the “establishment” holds the cure to many other ailments. HIV/AIDS is just one of them. And for those of us who thought they were playing it safe and still got infected…its not right that we are to blame. In my case someone didnt get their self tested like they should have and lied about their status. I ended up getting HIV at the age of 21. The depression and anxiety that comes with this disease puts a toll on my life and makes things even worse for me. So before anyone starts judging us because we were lied to…think about what we have to go through. Ive had 3 panic attacks in 1 week because I wonder will i ever be able to find anyone that will accept me. But now i know thats impossible for me because im apparently considered a “poz pig”

  49. Kevin

    Just to clarify where my comment came from, I’m 32, so I’m basically between the generation that was pretty much blindsided and scared for their lives and the generation that thinks managing HIV is no different from managing high blood pressure or diabetes. These stats the CDC reports are really no surprise when you hear how complacent and careless a lot of guys have become.

    I wouldn’t say fear never changed anything for gay men though. I know a few guys in their late 40’s to mid-50’s who are still neg. I’ve heard many stories about what the 80’s was like when the virus was getting more common. All of them have said something like, “198X was the year I started using condoms regularly.” Seeing enough of their friends waste away probably swayed them to make a few changes. Most of us under a certain age probably know people with HIV but haven’t seen anyone deteriorate and die as a result of an AIDS-related illness.

    Through personal conversations and watching vlogs, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard/seen a young (usually newly poz) guy talk about having HIV and how it’s really not a big deal anymore. It’s almost like they’ve been programmed. I know there are a lot of guys who still fear the virus, myself included. I’m just generally stating the fear is gone for a lot of guys (not every guy).

  50. Only + commenter?

    [OK, I’m not the only + commenter–looks like there was a delay due to moderation of the comments by the administrators–but kept the name for continuity.]

    A few people have posted about UNDETECTABLE and at least one asked what it meant.

    UNDETECTABLE doesn’t mean “NO HIV”. It means “can’t accurately count HIV in the blood AT THAT TIME”.

    Viral load is checked using a BLOOD test, and is usually reported as copies of HIV in one milliliter of blood.

    Tests vary in sensitivity, but some go as high as 10 million (10,000,000) viral copies. On the low end, they are typically around 50 copies or lower.

    The best viral load test result is “undetectable.” This does NOT mean that there is no virus in your blood; it just means that there is not enough for the test to find and count.

    I was undetectable, then my lab upgraded its test to go down to 20 copies; now I am not undetectable, I have a VL of 33. However, that would have been undetectable under the old test!!

    Viral load varies over the course of a day, and can increase for weeks, if a person with HIV gets an immunization (such as a flu shot) or other type of infection.

    Also, the viral load in blood isn’t necessarily the same as the viral load in semen, organs and tissues, and for women, breast milk and vaginal secretions.

    Undetectable people can still transmit HIV. The risk is lower, but it’s still a risk. (There was a Swiss recommendation on this issue, but I think they were looking at HIV-positive individuals in couples who were undetectable for 6 months or longer with regular testing.)

  51. kevstar

    It has been known since the 90s that the number one way to get HIV is by being the bottom in anal sex, but Im still getting asked if I do bareback, still reading people with BB on their profile and still reading usernames like cummdrop! No wonder why AIDS is still around!

  52. Matt

    I would have to disagree with a comment made re oral sex.
    My ex was poz and I am neg. I have had 100s of bj from poz men. In science a man can not get HIV from receiving a bj from a poz man. In theory it has been written but never any scientific proof that receiving oral sex leads to HIV. Met 6 of the best doctors in NAmerica and all agreed. Another point to mention is as neg men we are very LUCKY to have access to PeP and PrEP. Saved me.

  53. vafratboy

    @Ethan, anytime you have unprotected sex with a HIV+ person (whether they know they are HIV+ or not) you can contract the infection. An HIV+ person who has an undetectable viral load and is on medications simply has less chance of infecting you you than a HIV+ person with a high viral count who is going untreated. Always use a condom. Even with an HIV- person, use a condom because (a)you don’t know for sure that they are – and (b) HIV isn’t the only game in town. There are a variety of other STIs you can contract, not all of which are curable.

  54. William Jones

    Listen to yourselves. It is “sad” that “the fear is gone”.

    Are these comments written by toads who can’t get sex anyway? Or by douchebags who identify themselves with “conservatives” who just want to “conserve” their own money and don’t really care about anyone else?

    As i saw written by one of the more sane members, “sex has been around a long time…”. Just like antivirals, condoms are a stop gap measure. I’m betting that even those who bleat about “safe sex only” have slipped up a time or two or will do that in the future. And that’s all it takes.

    So maybe it’s a good idea to focus your concern onto the greedy drug companies by way of the politicians that protect them and to make it clear that you want everybody, gay and straight, to be able to safely do what amounts to breathing in the fresh air without wearing a gas mask.

  55. hottielatinbttm

    I met a guy here in Orlando 7 months ago and we hooked up, he’s all bottom and he barebacks. He told me was neg, not sure i believe it now. I found out later that it is very popular and poz friendly. So far I’m testing neg, bad mistake.

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