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Old 12-30-2003, 03:53 PM   #1
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Stop Panicking About HIV

Some of you have seen the movie, "Kids," too often. That's the movie where a girl gets HIV after having unprotected sex ONCE with a guy, and then a guy that has unprotected sex with that girl ONCE gets HIV at the end. Ya, talk about the most unlucky group of "kids" on this planet.

Let me put it this way: If you are worried about having HIV after having unprotected sex with your girlfriend or wife, then you have some emotional ssues.

You are more likely to get a FALSE-POSITIVE from an ELISA test, than to contract HIV through one time unprotected heterosexual sex with an HIV positive person. The FDA puts a 6 month ELISA at 99.9% accuracy. The CDC cites HIV transmission percentage from heterosexual sex with an HIV+ individual to be anywhere from 1/500 to 1/8000.

Now I'm not saying HIV isn't there or isn't killing people. It is. But if you're worried about HIV after unprotected heterosexual sex with someone in a low-risk group, that's an indication that perhaps you have a serious anxiety disorder, or just a guilty conscience.

Think about it this way. According to the July 2003 US Census, there are 281 million Americans living in this country. There are 124.1 million Americans between the ages of 15 and 44. I can assure you that at least HALF, of these 124.1 million Americans have practiced unprotected sex at one point or another in their lives. Do you realize that MILLIONS of young women are on the birth control pill, and a large number of them are on the pill to practice UNPROTECTED sex? Not saying they are all sleeping around, but an innumerable percentage of them specifically go on the Pill to be intimate with a boyfriend or husband, without the use of condoms. How many married couples still use condoms? Ya, right.

According to the CDC, there are an estimated 362,260 people in America CURRENTLY LIVING with HIV/AIDS. That includes all the people who have not yet been tested positive, but the CDC believes are lurking about in the general public not knowing they are infected. Now a lot of people have incorrectly interpreted statistics on this board, where they state about 800,000 are living with HIV/AIDS. Read more carefully...that number is CDC's CUMULATIVE CASES, ie the total number to date, starting way back in the early 80's! Of course since then, over 500,000 have died. All I'm talking about is America. Africa and Russia, those are unique situations, where most of the general population, ie heterosexuals, are in the high-risk group. (by high risk, the CDC means engage in unprotected sex with an HIV positive person 500 times and your risk of infection is 2/3)

By the way, the CDC has very good methods of estimating the current number of people in the country with HIV/AIDS because sooner or later, EVERYONE with HIV/AIDS will develop symptoms and will be tested positive. Health agencies count how many of the new cases are those who never knew they had HIV until it turned into full-blown AIDS and got really sick, and they can use that figure to accurately estimate how many are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

That being said, each year, the CDC reports around 43,000-44,000 new HIV/AIDS cases. Keep in mind, that most health clinics make a concerted effort to track down and test everyone who had sexual relations with each new positive person. This number includes people who were infected several years ago, and just found out they were infected when they came down with serious symtpoms (which all infected people do.)

So, out of about 124.1 million Americans between the ages of 15-44, many of whom are married, and millions of whom are practicing unprotected sex, a mere 43,158 new HIV/AIDS cases are being reported. That 43,000-44,000 includes homosexuals who practice unprotected anal, rape victims, IV drug users, new borns, prostitutes, men who seek out prostitutes, and heterosexual females that practice unprotected anal sex.

Now think about it...if HIV was really THAT prevalent among low-risk groups (heterosexual non-sex worker) and if HIV really was that easy to catch, a heck of a lot more than 43,000-44,000 per year would be diagnosed, especially since most clinics actively contact and test those who have come in contact with each newly infected individual.

I'm not advocating that you go sleep around. Herpes, syphillis, crabs, pregnancy, those are all risks. But at the same time, if you've been dating a girl, and you have unprotected sex with her once in a while, don't freak out. Don't post on this board under the moniker "suicidal" with the post topic, "I think I'm infected!" That is plain unhealthy, and indicates that perhaps you have some sort of emotional disorder...respectfully and seriously. Everyone should get regularly tested, but testing should be a normal, regular event. Not something to get stressed about.

Now if you recieve unprotected anal sex, or if you use IV drugs, then you should be more worried. But for those of you who just have a steady bf/gf, and started having unprotected sex...well ya it's a good idea to get tested, but rest-assured you are almost certainly going to be negative for HIV. Of the 43,000 new cases each year, about 10,000 are from heterosexual sex, including both men and women, prostitutes, porn-stars, women who take unprotected anal, and people who lied about their "real" cause of infection.

So you heterosexuals out there! Stop worrying so damn much. Worry more about pregnancy or herpes. Regular STDs should be your primary concern, HIV just means you're really really unlucky. Get tested, or give blood, and seek help if you are still "so_scared235"

Last edited by curiousguy12; 12-30-2003 at 04:08 PM.

 
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Old 12-30-2003, 04:11 PM   #2
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

I agree that people worry WAY to much! But it doesnt stop them from doing it, and it ALSO doenst help the SOCIETY and the GOVERNMENT arent educationg people about the disease. Most times the ONLY reason people learn about it is because they have had an HIV scare.

BUT, PLEASE dont give blood and hope you will find out that way!! It is not a good idea, wont necesarrily give you the answer you are looking for, and if you ARE by some chance positive, and it doesnt pick it up (rare, but happens) you could infect someone else, maybe small children or elderly. PLEASE be tested, but DONT do it by giving blood.
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Old 12-30-2003, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

So if I had unprotected anal sex with a boyfriend, who I knew well and trusted, am I high risk?

 
Old 12-30-2003, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by UF baby
So if I had unprotected anal sex with a boyfriend, who I knew well and trusted, am I high risk?
You should be asking the boyfriend........

 
Old 12-30-2003, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

I dont know about the risks. I'd think it's more at 10-30 percent. Some African countries have 40% of the population with HIV. How do you explain that?

 
Old 12-30-2003, 08:39 PM   #6
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by UF baby
So if I had unprotected anal sex with a boyfriend, who I knew well and trusted, am I high risk?
High risk means people who sleep with prostitutes, prostitutes, gay men, and IV drug users. And by high risk, we're still talking very low percentages (with the exception of IV drug users,) per encounter.

You should both get tested anyways, but I wouldn't worry about having HIV. You are far more likely to get a Royal Flush playing poker at the MGM Grand than your boyfriend having HIV and then him giving it to you.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 08:49 PM   #7
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shareef1
I dont know about the risks. I'd think it's more at 10-30 percent. Some African countries have 40% of the population with HIV. How do you explain that?
A problem with misinformation, and movies like "Kids," is that they lead to opinions such as yours. "I'd think it's more at 10-30 percent." With all due respect, how would you know? Again, with millions of Americans having unprotected sex on a daily basis, if transmission rates were indeed 10-30, you would be seeing an epidemic on a grand scale, far worse than what is going on in Africa.

The CDC is a very well trusted, official government agency with brilliant men working for them. The CDC is rarely wrong, and when they are, it is not by much.

As far as those African countries, as I said in my original post, the "high-risk" group has become the average heterosexual African. In America, thankfully the disease is mostly contained within the homosexual and IV drug using populations. The incredibly low amount of new heterosexual infections in America are those that were just unlucky enough to get in contact with someone directly or indirectly in contact with a homosexual or IV drug user.

Whereas in Africa, most people with HIV are heterosexuals. And as the CDC states, after about 500 encounters with an HIV positive individual, the chances of infection are about 2/3, which is quite high. And most people "of age" in Africa do have quite frequent heterosexual sex, and the statistics simply play out. Add into that newborn babies, thousands of whom are born with the disease from their infected mothers.

In my opinion, America could perhaps one day become like Africa, if enough heterosexual people get infected. But that day is not here, and it does not seem to be in our near future.

Last edited by curiousguy12; 12-30-2003 at 08:55 PM.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

first of all, way to go to the thread starter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! that was a kick butt post. it even made me feel a little stupid about my throwing up episodes when i was waiting for the test results. and what is even more ironic is that this thread will still get people asking the same questions over and over. i hope this stays at the top as it is really quite good.

i think that maybe helpful really nailed it when she said that people don't really know that much untill they have a scare. very true. and as far as africa and whatnot being so devestated, they don't have/use condoms. period. they are not educated on HIV or AIDS. that number includes babies as they are positive from their mothers. i do not know their sexual beliefs or practices but it would seem that being monogoumous (sp?) is not high on the priority list. in fact, documentaires that i have seen show men with several wives. and with little to no health care, i would think HIV could spread a lot faster with poor hygene to boot.

let us not kid ourselves though. the numbers presented, the 1/500-1/8000 of getting infected is a nice thought, and i am sure true. true enough for the people in the white coats in a lab to say it is. a very dear friend of mine is HIV+. he is gay and got tested regularly. he was a condom boy as well. he met a man, they fell in love. they both got tested before they slept together, they both were negative after the 90 day mark. they then had unprotected sex as they felt safe. my friends man then started feeling a little "off" lingering cough, slight fever, wierd rash......he went in they couldn't find anything. he got worse and worse. they finally did another HIV test. it came back positive. so my dear friend went in, and so was he. no one is sure who gave it to who, but one of them harbored the virus longer than the 90 day mark. my friends man was actually diagnosed with full blown AIDS. they did have him contact as many people as he could that he had had relations in the past with. 2 of those people came back positive. again, no one knows if he gave it to them or vice-versa. they are on the meds. my friend is doing well, his man is not. he has been back and forth with his viral load, and i think about to give up.

all i am saying is that eventhough the numbers are out there, it is still like playing russian rulette (sp? i know i suck).

kudos to you for that post, i really liked it.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 09:23 PM   #9
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyxin
all i am saying is that eventhough the numbers are out there, it is still like playing russian rulette (sp? i know i suck).

kudos to you for that post, i really liked it.
Speaking of Russian Roullette....if somebody gave me the choice to bet my life savings on one round of Russian Roullete with those odds (significantly less than 1%) I sure as hell would take it, and I'd win and be rich

 
Old 12-30-2003, 09:34 PM   #10
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Wait Wait Wait!

"As far as those African countries, as I said in my original post, the "high-risk" group has become the average heterosexual African. In America, thankfully the disease is mostly contained within the homosexual and IV drug using populations. The incredibly low amount of new heterosexual infections in America are those that were just unlucky enough to get in contact with someone directly or indirectly in contact with a homosexual or IV drug user."

No No No. This is NOT an accurate statment. The fact is that HETROSEXUALS contracting HIV is on the rise, especially women. If you are a woman, your risk is almost doubled. Homosexuals are the MOST educated of all of us, although the disease is still high in that population. HIGH RISK catrgories are: Homosexual males, IV drug user, people who sleep with IV drug users, male or female and ANY unprotected sexual encounter, vaginal or anal intercourse.

"the 1/500-1/8000 of getting infected is a nice thought, and i am sure true."

Nyxin got the numbers right! But keep in mind these are the numbers of POSSIBLE exposure for a SINGLE unprotected sex act.

"Whereas in Africa, most people with HIV are heterosexuals."

There are MANY MANY more reported cases of man-to-man transmission in Africa. There is even a study showing that women in a certain African tribe seemed resistant to HIV, as the man passed it amongst themselves.

I dont want to scare anyone. Its true the numbers of HIV cases in Africa are ASTOUNDINGLY high, but lets be clear here. It IS in America, it DOES pass through hetrosexual sex, and it CAN happen the first time. IF your at risk, you NEED to be tested, period.
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:51 PM   #11
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by maybe helpful

IF your at risk, you NEED to be tested, period.
Let's be honest. Everyone who has ever had sex, is at risk. Most Americans over the age of 15 have had sex. Most Americans over the age of 15 have had UNPROTECTED sex as well. That means, according to definition, most Americans are at risk.

Anyone who eats beef right now is at risk of getting Mad Cow.

Anyone who drives, is at risk of getting killed.

Anyone who works in Washington D.C. is at risk of a terrorist attack.

Anyone who has heterosexual, unprotected sex is at risk of getting HIV.

These are just a small portion of the risks we take EVERYDAY, by waking up and being alive. HIV is one of the smallest risks in our lives. It is absurd that heterosexual people should actually fear HIV more than death itself. Something is clearly wrong here, that people can be so afraid of something that is not nearly as likely or as fatal as something like getting killed in a car accident.

Do you know how many babies are born every year? 3 babies are born EVERY SECOND. That's 260,000 new babies everyday. Double that number, and that's the bare minimum of how many people are having unprotected sex every day! And that's only including the unprotected sex that actually results in pregnancy. This number does not include the millions who are having sex using the birth control pill, because quite frankly, condoms are expensive! For couples that have sex at least once a day, buying condoms really really gets expensive...so, they tend to go to the Pill.

As you can see, these risks are so marginal they are not worth freaking out about, or even getting seriously worried about. When you get in a car, do you panic and think you may get killed? If you are spending the Fourth of July in our nation's capitol, do you fear terrorist attack? So why should you FEAR getting HIV when you are having sex? You really shouldn't. If you are worried after having sex, you have other, more serious emotional issues you need to overcome.

As far as HIV transmission rates through heterosexual sex in America being on the rise, yes that is what the CDC reports. BUT, the CDC reports that margin of increase to be about 1,000 extra cases a year. Over the past 10 years, this so-called "rise" has gone down, and up...and it just now happens to be in a slight upswing. Go to CDC and look up the statistics.

This rise, however slight, is not because HIV is mutating, or becoming more transmittable. It's all math, and the math is really basic...increase the pool of heterosexual people with HIV, and it'll spread to more heterosexuals. Simple as that. But thankfully, frequent testing has had the effect of limiting this spread, and the rate of new heterosexual cases per year remains constantly around 43,000-45,000, +- 1,000 depending on the year.

Last edited by curiousguy12; 12-30-2003 at 09:57 PM.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 10:12 PM   #12
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Here's another way to put it:

There are about 20,000 murders every year. Over 50% of those murders are among black males, and most of them occur in urban, lower-class areas.

So, if you're a white male living in a suburb far from the city, should you really be worried about murder? Do people in suburbs even worry? The answer is no, many don't even lock their doors!

Now, there are about 43,000 new HIV cases every year. About 50% of these cases are among homosexuals, and about 20% are from IV drug users. A majority of the remaining heterosexual cases are from lower-class urban areas, including prostitutes, and women who recieve unprotected anal.

SO, if you're an average heterosexual American, who lives in an average middle-class suburb, and has a regular job, doesn't see any prostitutes, should you really worry? Of course you should be cautious, just as you wouldn't go driving around Detroit calling all the black people the "N" word, you shouldn't go have sex with as many people as possible. Just live your normal life, and try to enjoy it.

Last edited by curiousguy12; 12-30-2003 at 10:13 PM.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 11:50 PM   #13
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

List all the statistics you can find. If it seems that HIV transmission is low, okay. I wont dispute numbers, and I wont disagree when you say people are worrying to much. And I see the point, that generally, regular normal healthy people are not at a high risk for HIV.

But the fact remains, that HIV does NOT discriminate and can happen to anyone, from the poor highschool kid who has sex one time, to the upper class house wife whose husband is having an affair, or to the 50 year old grandpa who has an occasional romp with a prostitute.

Noone is safe from this disease, and we are ALL at risk if we are not safe and educated. So okay, maybe the numbers seem low, but if your someone who has it, or someone who passes it on to another, the numbers dont mean much.

Worry is going to stick with people, maybe because they feel guilty, maybe cause they are fearful all the time, and maybe for no reason at all. Statistics are knowlegde, but fear is powerful, and if someone FEELS they need a test, they should get one, regardless of the statistics.
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Last edited by maybe helpful; 12-30-2003 at 11:54 PM.

 
Old 12-31-2003, 09:47 AM   #14
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousguy12
Let's be honest. Everyone who has ever had sex, is at risk. Most Americans over the age of 15 have had sex. Most Americans over the age of 15 have had UNPROTECTED sex as well. That means, according to definition, most Americans are at risk.

Anyone who eats beef right now is at risk of getting Mad Cow.

Anyone who drives, is at risk of getting killed.

Anyone who works in Washington D.C. is at risk of a terrorist attack.

Anyone who has heterosexual, unprotected sex is at risk of getting HIV.

These are just a small portion of the risks we take EVERYDAY, by waking up and being alive. HIV is one of the smallest risks in our lives. It is absurd that heterosexual people should actually fear HIV more than death itself. Something is clearly wrong here, that people can be so afraid of something that is not nearly as likely or as fatal as something like getting killed in a car accident.

Do you know how many babies are born every year? 3 babies are born EVERY SECOND. That's 260,000 new babies everyday. Double that number, and that's the bare minimum of how many people are having unprotected sex every day! And that's only including the unprotected sex that actually results in pregnancy. This number does not include the millions who are having sex using the birth control pill, because quite frankly, condoms are expensive! For couples that have sex at least once a day, buying condoms really really gets expensive...so, they tend to go to the Pill.

As you can see, these risks are so marginal they are not worth freaking out about, or even getting seriously worried about. When you get in a car, do you panic and think you may get killed? If you are spending the Fourth of July in our nation's capitol, do you fear terrorist attack? So why should you FEAR getting HIV when you are having sex? You really shouldn't. If you are worried after having sex, you have other, more serious emotional issues you need to overcome.

As far as HIV transmission rates through heterosexual sex in America being on the rise, yes that is what the CDC reports. BUT, the CDC reports that margin of increase to be about 1,000 extra cases a year. Over the past 10 years, this so-called "rise" has gone down, and up...and it just now happens to be in a slight upswing. Go to CDC and look up the statistics.

This rise, however slight, is not because HIV is mutating, or becoming more transmittable. It's all math, and the math is really basic...increase the pool of heterosexual people with HIV, and it'll spread to more heterosexuals. Simple as that. But thankfully, frequent testing has had the effect of limiting this spread, and the rate of new heterosexual cases per year remains constantly around 43,000-45,000, +- 1,000 depending on the year.
I am not sure where you get your statistics but the total number of new cases in this country is about 40,000. That includes everyone. But also the percentage of heterosexual transmission has increased over the years and now stands at about 33 percent of the new infections.. Gay men make up about 42 percent of new infections with the rest going to iv drug users. When the epidemic started out it was less than 1 percent for heterosexual transmision with gay men making up over 95 percent. As you can see the increase has been steady and no one knows where it will be in the future.

 
Old 12-31-2003, 01:39 PM   #15
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Re: Stop Panicking About HIV

Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandnole
I am not sure where you get your statistics but the total number of new cases in this country is about 40,000. That includes everyone. But also the percentage of heterosexual transmission has increased over the years and now stands at about 33 percent of the new infections.. Gay men make up about 42 percent of new infections with the rest going to iv drug users. When the epidemic started out it was less than 1 percent for heterosexual transmision with gay men making up over 95 percent. As you can see the increase has been steady and no one knows where it will be in the future.
You are absolutely correct. That was a major, and stupid typo I made.

There are approximately 43,100 new cases each year. Here are the official statistics from the CDC for the heterosexual cases over the past few years: [url]http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats/hasr1402/table1.htm[/url]

As you can see for men, it has gone 3237, 3252, 3191, 3234 from 1999-2002. Now is that really an increase? In fact, the CDC even states that new HIV cases seems to be going downwards...

If you have an issue with the CDC and think they are wrong, talk to them

 
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