Discovered in 1981 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV/AIDS affects all races, genders, sexual preferences, and ages. While no cure for HIV has yet been developed – meaning once you are infected, you have HIV for life – current treatments can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, and lower their chance of infecting others.
What began as a mysterious immune deficiency among gay men has transformed into an issue that affects our entire community. In Indiana, The Damien Center serves about 25% of the total population of people living with HIV with the goal of reducing their HIV viral loads (the amount of HIV in the body) and increasing CD4 levels (the amount of healthy, immune-boosting cells in the body). Reducing viral load makes the individual living with HIV both healthier and less likely to pass the virus on to others, which in turn improves the health of our community. Of the 1.2 million HIV+ individuals in the United States, almost one in seven, or 14%, are unaware of their infection – and when you don't know you're infected with HIV, you're much more likely to pass it on to another person.
Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections -- about 50,000, according to the CDC -- has remained relatively stable. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are most seriously affected by HIV; by race, blacks/African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV. Other growing risk groups include African American women, Hispanics/Latinos, and youth.
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Find HIV stats, links, and in-depth resources to expand your knowledge of the current state of HIV in our city, state, and nation.
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