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HIV FACTS

At the end of 2011, there were 3.3 million children living with HIV around the world.
70% of all people living with HIV (24.7 million) live in sub-Saharan Africa, including 91% of
the world’s HIV-positive children.

Semen contains more of the virus than vaginal fluids which causes more women than men to
become infected with HIV.

Gay and bisexual men of all races are the most radically affected by HIV in the US.

HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million
lives so far. In 2016, 1.0 million people died from HIV-related causes globally.

There were approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2016 with 1.8
million people becoming newly infected in 2016 globally.

54% of adults and 43% of children living with HIV are currently receiving lifelong antiretroviral
therapy (ART). [Standard antiretroviral therapy (ART) consists of the combination of
antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV
disease. ART also prevents onward transmission of HIV.]

The WHO African Region is the most affected region, with 25.6 million people living with HIV
in 2016. The African region also accounts for almost two thirds of the global total of new HIV
infections.

HIV infection is often diagnosed through rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), which detect the
presence or absence of HIV antibodies. Most often these tests provide same-day test results,
which are essential for same day diagnosis and early treatment and care.

Did you know? HIV can be transmitted via the eye.

Most people living with or at risk of contracting HIV do not have access to prevention, care, or
treatment. As of 2014, there is no cure for the virus.

In 2007, approximately 74% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses were in males and 26% in females.

Every 9.5 minutes someone is diagnosed with HIV the US.

The AIDS epidemic officially began in 1981, according to most research, with the first cases
appearing in Haiti, although earlier cases point to 1979 as also showing case reports.

It is impossible to trace back exactly where HIV began in the Caribbean. However, in 1982, the
first case of AIDS was documented in Jamaica. Soon after, infections of HIV were found in
homosexual and bisexual men living in Tobago and Trinidad.
According to UNAIDS, the highest number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean
was captured on the island of Hispaniola, with 120,000 known cases in Haiti and 62,000 reported
in the Dominican Republic.

UNAIDS asserts that much of the spread of disease in the region has been transmitted as a result
of unprotected prostitution between men and women, although men having sex with men has
also contributed to the numbers.

In 2009, approximately 240,000 people in the Caribbean were living with HIV. The only other
region in the world with such a high infection rate is in Africa, south of the Saharan
desert. There are many reasons the epidemic has hit the Caribbean so strongly. These reasons
include poverty, sexual partners, gender, and prostitution.

Caribbean women between the ages of 24-44 years old are more likely to get be infected by HIV
than men.

In developing countries, women are more likely to get HIV (leading to AIDS) because of their
low position in society. A consequence of this is partially the increased risk of rape, unprotected
sex, and sexual violence against women and girls.

Key populations are groups who are at increased risk of HIV irrespective of epidemic type or
local context. They include: men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in
prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and their clients, and transgender people.

Key populations often have legal and social issues related to their behaviours that increase
vulnerability to HIV and reduce access to testing and treatment programmes.

In 2015, an estimated 44% of new infections occurred among key populations and their
partners.

There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control
the virus and help prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk,
can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives.

It is estimated that currently only 70% of people with HIV know their status. To reach the
target of 90%, an additional 7.5 million people need to access HIV testing services. In 2016,
19.5 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally.
Between 2000 and 2016, new HIV infections fell by 39%, and HIV-related deaths fell by one
third with 13.1 million lives saved due to ART in the same period. This achievement was the
result of great efforts by national HIV programmes supported by civil society and a range of
development partners.
Why a Community of Punks Chose to
Infect Themselves with HIV in Castro's
Cuba

To escape persecution, Los Frikis chose to give


themselves HIV for a chance at life in a Cuban AIDS
sanitarium.
Socialism breeds homogeneity, and in a socialist nation, punks can't help but
become unmistakably conspicuous. But more than conspicuous, Los Frikis—a
community of Cuban punks who came together throughout the late 1980s and
90s, resembling punks of freer nations in style and taste—came to be viewed as
pariahs by everyone but their own. At the time, Castro's government attempted to
maintain order by force, and police cracked down on vagrants and social outliers.
The Frikis were one such target, because they looked different, shirked the norms
of life under Castro socialism, and spent much of their time on the streets in run-
down areas. They were often harassed, arrested, imprisoned, or forced to do
manual labor. And as a result, some Frikis took up a form of protest that still
manages to shock: They infected themselves with HIV, by injecting blood from
their HIV-positive Friki friends into their own veins.