Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day: Please Get Tested

I'm taking a one-day break from personal finance to talk about something way more important: life. If you didn't know, Dec. 1 is World AIDS DAY, a 24-hour period of worldwide events and focus on the HIV/AIDS crisis. That's why this post is in red font, and all my tweets today are tagged #red. I won't get preachy, but I will leave you with a few facts and an admonishment:
  • There are 33.4 million people on Earth living with HIV;
  • 15.7 million are women; 2.1 million are children under age 15
  • 2.7 million new HIV cases were diagnosed in 2008
  • 2 million people died of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses
  • About 1 million people in the US have HIV; nearly half are African-American
  • If you're a black male, your chances of contracting HIV are roughly 1 in 16
  • If you're a black female, your chances of contracting HIV are roughly 1 in 30
  • The odds are 1 in 104 and 1 in 588, respectively, for US white men and women
  • The bottom line: HIV/AIDS is a health crisis not to be ignored. It's almost entirely preventable through use of condoms, abstinence and staying away from inter-venous drug use.
Beyond that, the best thing you can do is know your status. I was last tested in September. When were you?

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