Monday, May 2, 2011

The return of HIV

"And there's no guarantee that if you get HIV and you take these triple therapies, or whatever comes along next, that they're going to be successful for you."
- Elton John
The Tennessean.com reports that health officials are seeing a surge in new HIV cases with young adults because they no longer fear the disease. Many people think the war against AIDS ended in the mid-1990s when a "cure" was found.
“I remember holding the hands of people dying of AIDS in my 24 years of being in this field, but the young people I talk to have not held the hands of folks dying with AIDS,” said Harris [a health educator]. “They don’t have a reality of this virus.”
With a lack of fear for HIV, “Behavior is back to where it was in 1980,” says a public health official where youth are seeking for and advertising unprotected sex.
Between 2005 and 2009, the number of Tennesseans 15 to 24 years old newly diagnosed with HIV jumped 32 percent, state health department figures show.
And the disease is not "cured."
While medical advances have largely turned what was once a death sentence into a chronic manageable disease, there is no guarantee that infected people can just take a pill and keep on living. How well medications work depends upon how soon HIV is detected and what mutations of the virus exist. ...
Almost one of six newly diagnosed people in 2007 was infected with a form of the virus that was resistant to at least one class of drugs used to treat HIV. One percent had mutations of the virus that were resistant to all three classes of drugs.
Bottom Line

If you have kids tell them that HIV is not "cured" and can still be fatal.

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