The HIV crisis in the United States is worse than ever
Matthew Martin 2/24/2014 12:42:00 PM
Every so often I come across an article that says something like "...back in the midst of the AIDS epidemic..." I can tell by the context that they mean the late 70s and 80s before we understood what AIDS was. Still, the phrase puzzles me--for the United States at least, the AIDS epidemic is worse now than ever.
Here's what's happened to the prevalence of HIV in the United States:
Listening to people talk you'd think that we solved the HIV crisis, but in fact the prevalence is skyrocketing, and we haven't made any progress since the early 1990s. We did have a small decrease in the incidence back in the late 1980s, but the truth is that the incidence in the United States remains astronomical even now:
And here's another truth: even if we reduced the transmission rate of HIV by half, the prevalence would continue to skyrocket for the forseeable future:
And the US is unique in it's failure to halt the rise in HIV prevalence:
Moreover, the prevalence of HIV is actually considerably higher in many US populations than in Africa. According to the CDC, gay men in the United States are almost twice as likely (19 percent) to have HIV than women in Malawi (12%), and more than three times the average for sub-Saharan Africa (6.1%). But while HIV is more common in gay men, don't think this is just a gay man's issue:
The only US group who didn't make the list are Straight White Men. It's the same privileged few that still rule the world, and--based on their policy priorities, at least--it doesn't seem like they give a damn.