At the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections held this week in Boston, new statistics on HIV in the United States were discussed. The headline read:
One in 64 in US–Including 1 in 2 Black MSM–Will Get HIV in Their Lifetime
The content added more detail as follows:
“One of every 64 people alive in the United States today will get diagnosed with HIV infection in their lifetime, according to calculations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The overall US rate has dropped substantially since the CDC’s last estimate in 2004-2005, but some subgroups have dauntingly high rates, including women who inject drugs (1 in 23) and men who have sex with men (MSM) (1 in 6). Half of all black MSM and one quarter of all Hispanic MSM will get diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.”
I find these statistics quite troubling, even though they are greatly improved from a decade ago. There are still too many new HIV infections, especially too many in communities of color.
God’s Love has a special role in reducing the epidemic. When people living with HIV are food secure, they greatly enhance their chances of becoming virally suppressed. When they are virally suppressed, their chances of infecting others is reduced by 96%. That means, their chances of passing on HIV to partners is very, very slim.
Not only does God’s Love provide life-sustaining services for our clients living with HIV, we also play a key role in ending AIDS by helping our clients reach viral suppression. What could be more urgent and meaningful?