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Monday, December 1, 2014

World Aids Day - December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014
City Center Milwaukee | Day 92 | 

HIV/AIDS FACTS
While great progress has been made in the fight against AIDS, much work still remains. Deaths have declined from their historic peak by 76%, and life expectancy continues to increase, thanks to patient access to integrated quality health care and services made possible by people like those who participate in AIDS Walk Wisconsin. However, HIV/AIDS is still on the rise in Wisconsin and now, more than ever, those affected need your support. 
What are the numbers?
  • As of the end of 2013, 6,758 individuals reported with HIV or AIDS are presumed to be living in Wisconsin.
  • The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 15.8% of all persons living with HIV do not know they are infected.
  • In 2013, there were 255 new HIV cases reported in Wisconsin.
    • 36% of new HIV cases reported were among young people ages 15-29.
    • 59% of new HIV cases reported were members of racial/ethnic minorities.
    • 85% of new HIV cases reported were among gay men.  
  • HIV infections have been reported in all 72 counties in Wisconsin, with highest concentration in Milwaukee County.
  • Six out of 10 teenagers who are HIV positive don't even know they have the disease.
HIV is a disease that affects people regardless of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation.  
HIV vs. AIDS
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and breaks down the body's immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight disease. When the immune system becomes weak, we lose our protection against illness and can develop serious and even life-threatening infections and/or cancer.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the condition people with HIV develop if they have one of the serious infections connected to HIV, or if blood tests show that their immune system has been very badly damaged by the virus. AIDS is the last and most severe stage of the HIV infection.
It usually takes several years before HIV breaks down the immune system badly enough to cause AIDS. Most people have few, if any symptoms for several years after contracting HIV. However, once HIV enters the blood stream, it can seriously compromise the immune system. It is important to note that not all people with HIV develop AIDS, and not all people with HIV die.
Methods of HIV Transmission
People with HIV can only pass on the disease when certain bodily fluids enter the bloodstream of another person.  These include blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. The three main ways these bodily fluids can enter another person's bloodstream are:
  • Unprotected Sex - having sex without a condom, including oral, anal and vaginal
  • Needle Sharing - the use of contaminated needles associated with IV drug use, steroid injection, tattoos and blood rituals
  • Mother-to-Child - through pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
HIV cannot be transmitted through casual contact, including kissing or hugging. HIV is not transmitted through coughing, sneezing, toilet seats, phones, water fountains, sharing food and drink, or insect bites. No evidence exists that the virus can be transmitted through tears, saliva or sweat. 

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