AIDS at 30 Holds Special Peril for Under-30s

Saturday, June 4, 2011

AIDS will cross a 30-year mark in the United States tomorrow with the CDC warning against any false sense of safety. Its director says most infections are among those under 30, "who may not fully understand the health threat."

UNaids(WOMENSENEWS)--As we mark the 30th anniversary of the first U.S. published reports of AIDS this weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against complacency in the face of a scourge that afflicts over a million Americans.

"Thirty years later, the sense of crisis has waned, but our resolve to end the epidemic simply cannot," the CDC's director, Dr. Tom Frieden, said in a June 2 press statement.

Most infections are now among people under 30, Frieden says, describing that group as "a new generation that has never known a time without effective HIV treatments and who may not fully understand the significant health threat HIV poses."

Men who have sex with other men are disproportionately affected--they're 2 percent of the population, according to the CDC, but more than half of all new infections in the U.S.

The days of this being a man's disease, however, are long gone and women are increasingly at risk.

For black women, the danger is pronounced, with rates of transmission nearly 15 times as high as that of white women, and nearly four times that of Hispanic women, according to the governmental health authority.

The disease has claimed 500,000 American lives and millions worldwide, according to the CDC.

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