December 1 marks World Aids Day, dedicated to raising awareness across the world about issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. The global theme for this World Aids Day is Getting to Zero. As a barebacker, I make myself aware of relevant issues associated with barebacking, including the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections. I consider it important for all barebackers to be aware of how barebacking can impact their lives, because there are pros and cons when it comes to having unprotected sex. Anyone who decides to have bareback sex needs to make a decision that is right for them based on their own personal circumstances.

I wanted to acknowledge today’s event to raise awareness and to take this opportunity to reflect on those we know who may have passed away as a result of AIDS. I also wanted to share some statistics and provide resources for anyone who may be interested in this. While some see barebacking as irresponsible, the fact is that millions of people have bareback sex and this is how life is created. Barebackers need to make informed decisions when it comes to bareback sex and having the facts and discussing sexual health is an important part of this process. For instance, those who use sero-sorting as a technique to help maintain sexual encounters with those who have the same HIV status as themselves need to be comfortable with having discussions about sexual health, undertaking regular HIV testing and maintaining an accurate knowledge of HIV status.

The red ribbon is the global symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS. According to current worldwide statistics from The Foundation for AIDS Research, there are now more than 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS, with 3.3 million of these people under the age of 15. In 2012, an estimated 2.3 million people were newly infected with HIV and 260,000 of these people were under the age of 15. Every day nearly 6,300 people contract HIV, which is nearly 262 people every hour. In 2012, 1.6 million people died from AIDS, with 210,000 of these people under the age of 15. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 75 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 36 million people have died of HIV-related causes. I have incorporated statistics from several countries below and links to further statistics containing additional regions and deeper analysis.

Australia

At the end of 2011, there were an estimated 24,731 people living with an HIV diagnosis in Australia There were 1,253 new HIV diagnoses in Australia in 2012, which is a 10% increase in the statistics from 2011. From the start of the epidemic until the end of 2011, there have been 31,645 diagnoses of HIV and 10,796 diagnoses of AIDS, with Australia recording 6,843 AIDS deaths.

Canada

At the end of 2011 there were an estimated 71,300 people in Canada living with HIV and around 25% of these people are unaware of their infection. It is estimated that 3,175 new HIV infections occurred in Canada in 2011, which is approximately 8 new infections each day. By the end of 2011, there had been 22,322 AIDS diagnoses in Canada, with an estimated 13,684 people with AIDS who have died since the epidemic began.

United Kingdom

There were around 96,000 people estimated to be living with HIV in the United Kingdom at the end of 2011, with a quarter (25%) of those people unaware that they have the virus. In 2011 there were 6,280 new diagnoses of HIV, contributing to a cumulative total of 124,602 cases reported by mid 2012. As of mid 2012, there have been 27,814 diagnoses of AIDS in the United Kingdom and 20,674 people living with HIV have died (not necessarily to causes relating to HIV and AIDS).

United States

In the United States there are approximately 1.3 million people living with HIV and it is estimated that almost one-fifth (18.1%) of those people don’t know they have it, which is why HIV testing is so important. Since the start of the AIDS epidemic, 1,155,792 people have been diagnosed with AIDS. An estimated 50,000 new infections occur in the United States each year, which is an estimated 5 people every hour.

HIV Statistics

Africa | http://www.avert.org/africa-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

Asia | http://www.avert.org/south-east-asia-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

Australia | http://www.avert.org/australia-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

Canada | http://www.avert.org/canada-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

Caribbean | http://www.avert.org/caribbean-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

India | http://www.avert.org/india-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

Latin America | http://www.avert.org/latin-america-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

South Africa | http://www.avert.org/south-africa-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

United Kingdom | http://www.avert.org/uk-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

United States | http://www.avert.org/usa-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

The Foundation for AIDS Research has an excellent website containing basic facts about HIV/AIDS, and for anyone interested in getting tested, they offer a practical guide to getting tested for HIV, plus links to additional resources that you might find beneficial if you’re interested.

References:

  1. Basic Facts About HIV/AIDS
    http://www.amfar.org/About-HIV-and-AIDS/Basic-Facts-About-HIV/
  2. Worldwide Statistics
    http://www.amfar.org/about-hiv-and-aids/facts-and-stats/statistics–worldwide/
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