Every 9 ½ minutes: that's how often the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that someone in the U.S. gets infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In the next 10 minutes, someone will get HIV—and it could be your friend or someone in your family.
By the way, do you remember the word for thought in my earlier post? Comorbidity? Well, HIV is one of the many diseases that is "comorbid with" drug use. NIDA's "Learn the Link" campaign is all about how drug use can expose us to infection from HIV. When someone is using drugs, their decisions may not be well considered. They can have poor judgment and do risky things, like having unprotected sex. And that might mean getting infected with HIV.
According to the CDC, by the end of 2007, 3,230 adolescents 13 to 19 years old were reported to be living with AIDS in the United States and dependent areas (like Puerto Rico). And unfortunately, more people are getting infected all the time.
June 27 was National HIV Testing Day. Did you get tested?
This is a guest SBB post from NIDA intern Giselle.
HIV newly infects about 48,000 Americans every year, but one in five with the disease don’t even know they have it. That’s why today, on National HIV Testing Day, we encourage everyone to get tested—it’s the only way to know for sure if you have HIV. If you do have it, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can get treated.
Drugs + HIV
You probably know how injection drug use (with needles) can lead to HIV infection, but did you know that other kinds of drug use can also increase your odds of getting the disease?
When you use drugs or alcohol, you don’t have as much control over your emotions or your common sense. You could make risky decisions that could lead you into an unsafe sexual situation, putting you at risk for getting HIV or another STD.
Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link helps you understand how any drug use could put you at risk for contracting HIV. You might be interested in a series of Webisodes that tell the story of how unhealthy decisions made at a party change a teen’s life.
Know Your Status Many health centers and clinics offer free or low-cost HIV tests. Go to AIDS.gov to find one near you. And spread the word—when you take the test, you take control.