Health : World Aids Day 2012


It has been more than 30 years since the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS in 1981 and since 1988, December 1st has been recognized as “World AIDS Day”. The intention of the day is to raise awareness, increase donations for HIV/AIDS related causes, fight prejudice and HIV/AIDS related stigma, and to simply remind people that HIV/AIDS has not gone away.

There are about 34 million people worldwide that are living with HIV with 2.5 million infected in 2011. In the United States there are around 1.2 million people living with HIV with about a fifth of them unaware of their infection, in Canada about 30% of those that are HIV positive are unaware of their infection. There are approximately 54,000 new infections each year in the United States.

This year, World AIDS Day is about “Getting to Zero.” Zero new HIV infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. Backed by the United Nations the “Getting to Zero” campaign runs until 2015 and builds on last year’s successful World AIDS Day “Light for Rights” initiative encompassing a range of vital issues identified by key affected populations.”

How can you help reduce HIV/AIDS? You can start by knowing the facts, HIV/AIDS has not gone away and although there are treatments for HIV, AIDS is still a significant health issue.

Next you can get tested! With as many as 20% – 30% of people estimated to be infection with HIV being unaware of their infection, it is possible for you to be infected and not know it. HIV infection does not always have symptoms. If you have already been tested, get tested again! The CDC recommends that Gay men be tested at least annually, with men who are more sexually active being tested every 3-6 months.

If you are HIV positive stay on course, treatment is a form of prevention. As an example of this, in 2008 a group of Swiss scientists produced the first ever consensus statement which asserted that an HIV positive person who is taking effective antiretroviral therapy, has an undetectable viral load and is free from STDs, has a negligible risk of infecting others with the virus.

One of the most impactful ways for us all to care for each other is to work together to fight HIV/AIDS Stigma. This site from Canada, on HIV Stigma provides some good information and perspectives on HIV stigma. The site also offers surprising information on the HIV incidence in Canada.

Too many people do not know they have HIV and too few people with HIV are receiving proper prevention, treatment, and care services. While science learns more, and new options for vaccines and prevention such as PrEP are explored, we must all take the initiative to get tested, and if we are HIV positive, take care of ourselves not only for ourselves but to do all we can to prevent the spread of HIV.


There are 24 comments

Add yours
  1. mike

    the younger generation here don’t care about it. so many profiles of young men who are looking to become poz , they think its hot for some reason. its crazy

  2. Dafuq?

    Not only should we be active in searching for a vaccine, but we need to educate gay men about HIV and work to make treatment accessible to everyone that needs it.

    However, I find it interesting that the blogger uses the word “negligible” to describe the risk of transmission. What exactly is the % risk of transmission?

  3. NOFX1

    Note I would take issue w GayMaleLA’s comment about wat sucks for the ppl here who have it –anyone that shows they can’t afford it, almost automatically get delivered into HIV treatment..–not working, or not medi-cal eligible, or no health insurance, or anything –is given free medical treatment, free hiv therapy meds, & the govt takes care of handling those bills.. IT’S EVERYONE’S BUSINESS.

  4. Phine50

    I wish the HIV/AIDS advocacy groups would continue to educate people that HIV/AIDS is still incurable and potentially fatal even though there are treatments which have made it a manageable disease now. I suspect the younger than 30 generation doesn’t take infection seriously so they disregard the risk and don’t seem to even care if they get infected. Many of my African-American youth, especially men, who live in high crime areas where the statistical chance of dying by violence is high there’s a fatalistic, hopeless sort of attitude about life in general. Some I’ve mentored have told me that contracting AIDS is just another part of that, “so what,” fatalistic attitude. I’m old school and I remember when contracting AIDS meant a certain and horrible death. It was scary! While infected people shouldn’t be stigmatized I fear advocates go too far and make infection seem acceptable too. I thank God I heeded the education and have stayed negative to this point. However, I have positive friends and I know for a fact the new treatments aren’t 100%. Those infected sometimes suffer drug side effects, or the drug stops working or they experience depression over being infected etc. I hope kids growing up in this new age of the epidemic will see that side too so hopefully they will lose the “catch AIDS so what” attitude.

  5. marc

    Someone with HIV and is undetectable can now live in a healthy and relatively normal way with a long expected life span. So many advancements have been made in the war against HIV and AIDS. Kudos to all the scientists, researchers, community leaders, and, yes, elected officials and government bureaucrats who have made this possible.

  6. George

    I think it’s a shame that we have to go such a terrible disease. However I think it’s a shame that we have so many irresponsible men that still do bareback, group sex etc. The highest cases of HIV now are between 20-24. If these 40 and 50 years olds have to have twinks and have to bareback. They have lived, but to infect these kids at such a young age is terrible. Too much U must this and U must that. These kids think there invisible while they get ruined by these worn out non stop gay men just can’t get enough. I am gay and I am ashamed at how these guys operate. No wonder why the world all view us as sicko perverts.

  7. Aaron

    One study in Switzerland is not nearly enough, even with poz men on HART, is totally misleading, and you make no mention of the WHOLE WORLD SUFFERING THIS DREADED KILLING PANDEMIC

  8. Str8gonegay

    I agree with what the previous posters said. HIV is not a death sentence if you get treatment and follow through. It becomes a death sentence when you ignore treatment and refuse to take it serious. Its your right to know, get tesyrf, and be educated wether you have it or not. Dont be blinded by ignorance! Be in the know, be smart.

  9. Brad

    After reading the post on PrEP yesterday I followed the link provided to the Truvada website to see if there was any pricing information but the only thing I could find was that qualifying individuals may be eleigible for up to $200 per month in aid to help pay for it if their insurance doesn’t help. Then today I was in a drugstore getting lube and a home HIV test kit (the kit was almost $40, but that’s manageable for most of us) and I decided to ask the pharmacist helping me with that if she knew how much Truvada was for PrEP. She looked it up and told me it would be $1000 per month!!! So even IF you got the financial assistance of $200 you would be paying $800 a month out of pocket!!! How in the HELL is this helpful as a preventative medicine if nobody can afford it??? The ONLY way this and/or any vaccine they come up with will work is if it is subsidized by the government and insurance companies and made availible to the public for FREE or very cheap! The people who need it the most are the ones who can’t afford squat anyway!

  10. truckercouple

    it doesn’t take to long on A4A or any other gay site that a HUGE percentage of gay men COULD CARE LESS ABOUT AIDS, or they wouldn’t be having bare sex…. the FACTS are that the only CURE for aids, IS NOT GETTING AIDS….. it has taken TOO LONG for a cure to come along and personally I feel the medical field is more interested in RAISING money, they getting the job done…..

    I am asked to have sex A LOT,, not me patting my back, but a fact and a HUGE portion of those men want BARE sex and it’s ALWAYS the same LINE…. ” OH I’M SAFE, I KNOW THE MEN I HAVE SEX W/.” that might not sound so FUCKING LAME, had you not said MEN,,,, not the MAN….. if ANYONE honestly thinks that the MEN you are having sex w/ are ONLY have sex w/ you, U ARE AN IDIOT, and if you think they are only have BARE sex w/ you, then you DESERVE whatever std or FATAL disease you get.. it’s true and I don’t feel a DAMN thing wrong w/ saying it……

    if you get something from sharing NEEDLES for drugs, YOU’RE fault… if you have unsafe sex, YOU’RE fault,,,, and all the guys who are POZ but get pissed when you don’t want to have sex w/ them, GET OVER IT,, to all the guys who are poz and are pissed a guy WALKS out on a date or just before having sex, because THAT’S when you decide to tell them you are poz,,, SCREW U guys,, it should be something that is said UPFRONT, on ur profile or upon first talking w/ them.. DON’T hide ur status in hopes someone will take one look at you in person and then DROP their pants and have sex w/ you are date you.. it’s the first sign that you are a FAT liar and not worth dating………..

    are my words harsh, HELL NO.. they are the truth and this whole AIDS day, CANCER day so on and so on.. EVERY fucking disease has a color ribbon and bumper sticker….. we spend MORE time making ppl aware and getting donations THen actually working on a cure and or TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN SELVES in the first place…….

    it’s not just the young having bare sex, older men are doing it as well and it disgusts me.. is bare sex hot, HELL yeah, but is living hotter, uhhhhhhh YES……….

    it’s JUST DAY to have AIDS day,, but come the next day, NO ONE CARES again like any other day of awareness and the WHOLE system of making ppl aware needs an overhaul… and QUICK..

  11. truckercouple

    and lastly,,,, if ONE more pox guy gets PISSED at me because i tell them i don’t have sex w/ poz men, i’m going to freak out…. it’s almost like playing the race card,, they can’t handle rejection, so they IMMEDIATELY blow up on ME how I’m the idiot and how I’m ignorant about HIV and how I’m the problem…. ummm no sweety, you having AIDS is the problem… regardless of HOW you got it, the facts are YOU HAVE IT, and i’m not going to EVER have it, so NO, i will not be having sex w/ you.. are you a great guy, maybe so, but i won’t be ever getting that far w/ you to find out…… i like having a free flowing relationship and having to be SOOOO careful about sex would not work for me… another man might not care but I do, and that’s NOT my PROBLEM….

    now, this was before i was in a partnership back when i was single but i guess I should have just said, NOT LOOKING, but then again, most guys can’t handle that answer either and start asking YYYYYYYYY like whining little children and my answer to that is this, ” the answer is no regardless of Y, so bye bye now.”

  12. leo8775

    Its hard to prevent the spread when there is still the sense of shame involved. Look at our own community!!! I am positive. So therefore I’m labeled “dirty”.

  13. Matt

    NYS requires hospitals to ask if one would like an HIV test while at the ER. I don’t know if it’s required at doctor’s offices, but I know it’s required in the ER.

  14. True

    I am sincerely saddened by the comments I have read on such a day of remembrance of one of this worlds most catastrophic illnesses.

    I am 48 years old. I became HIV + since the age of 23. I am not dirty, unsafe, contaminated or any such derogatory word some would describe me.

    What I am is a loving human being put on this earth the same as anyone of you out there reading this post. I am strong and healthy. I eat, sleep, work and wipe my ass as each of you. I am also worn out, tiered, sad and angered.

    I think the difference between me and you is worlds apart but yet not so very different. My life has been dedicated to helping others in need. Try walking past years in my shoes, then make the comments and unqualified opinions about what we should be feeling, doing or for that matter how. It’s totally blind injustice. Try volunteering for research that makes you so sick you can’t even hold your head up let alone, rest. Try watching your friends die day in and day out. Try having your heart ripped out every time you feel rejected in one way or another just because you have something others do not understand. Try gasping for your last breath over and over again. I sincerely hope you never will but I bet we would all be changed being if we all had this experience.

    Instead of anything I have written about hear, try giving. Giving of your heart, your home, your shoulder, your time and for god’s sake, your money. This is not a new subject matter, but it is a new moment for each of us to try and do a little bit more. For those of you that are negative, God bless you. For those of us positive, keep the faith. We are not alone and there are kind, gentle and giving people in this world just as those just the opposite.

    Let’s keep this conversation going all the time. This is not a “celebration” or a “Happy world AIDS day” It is a reminder of where we have been, where we are now and where we are going. Let’s not lose fact of who we are. Reach out and help your brothers and sisters. They are the very ones that are or possibly will be in need and one day, helping us all.

    Health and happiness to all and remember. Acquired Immune Syndrome can happen to you, no one is safe. Be kind. Love, laughter and light to you all.


  15. Charlie

    Truckercouple….you might be telling some truth…harsh, blunt, whatever…or not….but what I detect most about your notes is how much hate you seem to have….probably through frustration but I just read hate and when that happens, your words go nowhere…you reach no one.

  16. Charlie

    I just re-read my last note and I think it comes off as a put down. That is not what I meant it to be….It’s just an observation…maybe constructive criticism.

  17. Darryl

    Hiv-Aids is still here fellas. With all the strides made with Information,Support,and Treatment, we have to continue to get tested. Knowing what your updated status is, and also have the conversation with all sex partners. Keep it real is the only to play. To all who are Hiv+ just know that you are more then your status. Do all you can to live your life on your terms. It’s not a death sentence, it’s your life live it.

  18. Dylan

    Wow, truckercouple…. Though I agree with some of what you say, I don’t think you need to be such an arrogant asshole the way you say it. You brought up a lot of really good points and I think you would have reached more people with what you had to say if you were ahhhh…. just nicer.

    You state “I’m not going to ever have it”. I’m sure just about everyone who has it (unintentionally) thought the same thing. I really hope you don’t get it. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But if you should contract HIV I hope and pray the cure will be there for you as we’ll as the millions who have it.

    For those guys who list that they are POZ or DON’T KNOW on their profile I have so much respect for you! Yes it def cuts your shopping list of guys in half if not more then that. But you have my admiration for being so honest where some guys who know they are poz keep it a secret. If you don’t want to wave the poz flag, that’s cool. But if you know you are poz and hook up with a guy or group and your not letting them know, THAT’S JUST FUCKED UP! No other words for it, sorry.

    I have run across a bunch of younger guys who are looking to become poz. I just don’t get it!!! Not one or two I mean a bunch. It’s like a membership to a club or a right of passage if you should contract this dreadful disease. I never, ever ran across anyone looking to catch cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease. I can’t even wrap my head around it.

    Also…if you claim to have been tested in march of last year that’s cool you are getting tested. If you have hooked up with 100 guys since march of last year that test is basically null and void. It’s actually void after the 1st guy you have sex with if you really think about it. And Justb because a guy hands you a peice of paper from the clinic stamped w/ yesterday date means shit! Results vary and poz results can hide for a long time. Just becareful out there!

  19. Former1214

    Truckercouple, I appreciate the awareness campaigns because they gave me incentive to get tested by letting me know how serious HIV is and how it can be spread. I’ve had three total sex partners one of which I dated for a very long time and wasn’t always safe with the one I dated. We were exclusive and he had been tested but after we stopped seeing each other I made sure to get tested. I will say that I was not as aware then as I am now but it the awareness campaigns made me realize that it was my duty to know my status. I tested negative and now only practice safe sex knowing how important it is to be safe. My main point is what about those men who are my age (around 20) and have had little experience and trusted the wrong person at the beginning and never thought it a big deal to be tested only to find out they are positive? These awareness campaigns are there for those people who do/did not know the risks and for all people who are sexually active. I can imagine that there are many struggles in the HIV positive community and know it can be tough in the gay community as well, without being berated by someone in their own community. Education, tolerance and acceptance buddy.

Post a new comment

Like us to stay in touch with latests posts!