When HIV and AIDS first appeared in the 1980’s, it derailed the sexual revolution. AIDS was then seen as a “death sentence” because modern medicine hadn’t had time to fight it. As the 1990’s segued into the 2000’s, protease inhibitors and other treatments had turned HIV infection into a “treatable” or “manageable” illness for many.
Since AIDS deaths have gone down in most advanced countries, HIV has been in the news less. As the saying goes, “out of sight; out of mind.” Unfortunately, that has caused many people to forget about HIV and underestimate the
risk involved in having unprotected sex. As a result, the current rate of infection in many countries is beginning to cause great concern among many in the medical community.
Bottom line: HIV infections are increasing so fast that the death rate is beginning to rise again. According to Peter Piot, who is the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, deaths from HIV will begin to increase in five years in some countries.
Worldwide, 35 million people have contracted HIV. Since the onset of AIDS, over 40 million people have died from it. While the biggest problem by far is in Africa, high-risk groups such as gay men in North America, Europe and Asia are experiencing what is seen as a “resurgent HIV epidemic.”
Why This is Important to You
No matter what your gender or lifestyle, you are still at risk of contracting HIV every time you have unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. You may think your partner is “safe,” but if you haven’t been tested, you may not even know whether or not you have HIV.
How to Stay Safe
All you have to do is wear a condom when having sex. We also recommend using a water-based lubricant. This can help keep your condom from breaking.
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