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This blog is a hate-free place, dedicated to the spreading of awareness and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community, their shame experiences and their potential to be resilient. Our goal is to increase your empathy and compassion.

We do not claim to be experts on this topic, however, we recognize the importance of sharing what we can in the hope that at least one person feels compelled to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Friday, June 13, 2008

We're ALL Susceptible

There is a common misconception that gay men are the only population with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and that is just not the case. In this post, we hope to expose some of the stereotypes associated with HIV/AIDS and clear up some of the unknown about the disease.

this link to read about the difference between HIV and AIDS and what they stand for.

According to the Center for Disease Control, in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting, an estimated 19,620 men having sex with men (18,296 MSM and 1,324 MSM who inject drugs) received a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, accounting for 71% of male adults and adolescents and 53% of all people receiving an HIV/AIDS diagnosis that year (2005).

Let’s take a critical look at the numbers. This statistic was found on an anti-gay website and was trying to be used as an argument against being homosexual. 47% of all people who received an HIV/AIDS diagnosis in 2005 were not homosexual males, so where is the logic in using this statistic as a scare-tactic against the gay community?

The percentage of adults (other than men having sex with men) in the United States infected with HIV/AIDS are:
- Men who contracted through heterosexual contact (16% of men with HIV/AIDS).
- Women who contracted through heterosexual contact (80% of women with HIV/AIDS).
- Injecting drug users (12% of men and 19% of women).

As you can see, HIV/AIDS is not a “gay disease.” While it is a problem in the community, we are ALL susceptible. There is an AIDS epidemic in this country as well as around the world, and instead of thinking this is not everyone’s issue we need to focus on what we all can do to practice safe prevention practices and raise awareness.

The shame associated with HIV/AIDS is extremely prominent among HIV-positive people and can take a huge toll on their lives. As stated in the article linked to below, "In addition to creating missed social opportunities, stigma damages the psyches of those infected, and fuels the spread of the virus to others."

this link to read the personal story about a 33 year old HIV-positive man. He discusses what he has experienced because of the stigma of his HIV status.