In 1985, Elizabeth Taylor addressed Congress about a mysterious new disease called AIDS. In her speech advocating for research and public education, Taylor famously said, “It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance.”
Thirty years after the first documented case of AIDS, a cure remains elusive and in spite of the implementation of HIV education in schools, risky behaviors continue. While the majority of cases indeed occur outside of the United States, HIV knows no boundaries. The risk is very real for men and women in America, regardless of sexual orientation.
The numbers speak for themselves—
- An estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States. Twenty percent of them are unaware of it.
- 42,959 people were diagnosed with HIV in the United States in 2009.
- Women account for a growing share of new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. In 2005, 25% of AIDS diagnoses belonged to women, compared to just 8% in 1985.
- In young women, the share is even larger. From 2001 to 2004, 38% of 13 to 24 year olds given a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS were female.
- 7 out of 10 women diagnosed with AIDS in the United States were exposed by heterosexual contact.
With these figures in mind, Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis is committed to providing medically accurate, age appropriate HIV education for young women, an at-risk group for HIV/AIDS.
Learn more about why sexually active young women are especially at-risk for contracting HIV.
25 million people have died from AIDS worldwide. We can’t cure AIDS right now, but we can certainly cure ignorance. Have you talked to the girls in your life about HIV?