HIV/AIDS: How people live with it
The battle against the HIV virus is, in no doubt, one of the most hard- fought and crucial battles in all of medical history. The AIDS virus is always fatal to its victims especially children.
AIDS is the seventh leading cause of death for children 1-4 years of age in the U.S. Presently, 100% of new HIV infections in children result from an HIV- infected pregnant women passing the virus to her baby either before or during birth. It is estimated that the number of children with HIV, in the U.S., is between 10,000 and 20,000. 1,200 children die of AIDS each day worldwide. Every seventeen minutes someone dies of AIDS.
About 30,000 American children have already lost their parents to AIDS. It is estimated by the year 2000 the overall number of orphaned children and adolescents will exceed 80,000 in the U.S. Since the start of this global epidemic, it is estimated that close to 2.6 million children have been infected with HIV worldwide and 1.4 million have died. Of the children estimated to have been infected with HIV worldwide, 54% have died. UNAIDS estimates that 1,600 children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV each day. The number of full-blown AIDS cases in teenagers doubles every 14 months. Females, 25 or younger, and of African or Hispanic descent are the people most at risk for HIV infection. Prisons represent the largest population of high- risk HIV and AIDS persons.
There are 16 state prisons that require HIV testing when you enter prison to serve time. 95% of inmates get HIV/AIDS before they entered prison. AIDS is the second leading cause of death for prisoners with illness and natural causes being the first. The incidence of AIDS is 14 times higher in state and federal prisons than in the general population.
AIDS and HIV are problems that require our attention, but at least life might be prolonged until a cure is found.