What is HIV?

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition that results from an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Unless it’s treated, this chronic viral infection slowly destroys your immune system and could lead to death.

HIV lowers your immune system’s ability to produce the white blood cells and antibodies that protect you from invading organisms. Lowered immunity makes you more vulnerable to attacks from viruses, fungi and bacteria, and may lead to infectious diseases and tumors. Eventually, these illnesses may become serious enough to cause death.

HIV Statistics:

  • AIDS is the leading cause of death for African Americans between the ages of 24-44.
  • 63% of the new cases of AIDS among women in the U.S. are Black
  • 53% of the new cases of AIDS in America are in the Black community
  • 16 black men die from AIDS everyday
  • The AIDS rates among African Americans are 8 times that of white Americans.

Worldwide, about 34 million people have HIV, including an estimated 1.4 million Americans. There are approximately 56,000 new infections occur in the United States yearly andĀ  AIDS is the fifth-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 25 and 44. Although AIDS is a fatal illness with no cure, there have been significant advances in the treatment of AIDS.

What about Delaware? The incidence of HIV/AIDS in Delaware continues to rank among the top ten states per capita in the United States. As of December 2010, there are 3566 Delawareans living with HIV/AIDS which translates into 1 out of every 248 Delawareans, 1 out of every 636 White Delawareans, 1 out of every 233 Hispanic Delawareans and 1 out of every 83 African American Delawareans are living with HIV/AIDS. Men represent 71% of those living with HIV/AIDS in Delaware. African Americans represent 66% of all cases. To view the latest Division of Public Health HIV Surveillance report- view DE Monthly Stats (on HIV Facts home pageĀ tab)

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