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March 13, 2012 Print

Sexual Behaviors Associated with HIV-AIDS

by Chad Hills

One in every 139 women will be diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection at some point in her lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). March 10th is designated as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Outside of a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage, sexual activity puts women and men at risk for HIV. According to the CDC, the only 100-percent effective way not to get HIV is:

Don’t have sex. Abstaining from sex means not having any type of sex at all—oral, anal, or vaginal. Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV.

And, if you are married, then remain faithful to your spouse. Choices matter. The healthiest way to avoid any sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs), including HIV, is to wait until you are married to a person who has made the same choice in life. If he or she has been sexually active in previous relationships, wait at least six months and test for HIV and other STIs. In contrast to an increasingly popular belief, currently, there is no cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS. Great  efforts are being madeto find a vaccine and prolong the lives of HIV-infected people, but once you have been infected with HIV, it will likely lead to the condition known as AIDS, for which there is no cure at this time. Here’s a brief summary of CDC charts showing various sexual behaviors associated with the incidence of HIV infections in the United States as of 2009:

  • The number of men infected with HIV is three times higher than HIV-positive women (males 77%, females 23%).
  • HIV infection is most prevalent among the 13-29 year-old population (39%).
  • Black/African-American males and females carry the highest burden of HIV infection (males 46%, females 65%) of any ethnic group.
  • Male-to-male sexual contact is responsible for 74% of all reported male HIV infections.
  • Heterosexual contact is responsible for 85% of all reported female HIV infections.
  • White Men who have sex with men (MSM) is the group maintaining the highest number of new HIV infections in the U.S., followed closely by Black/African-American MSM.
  • States in southern U.S. and along the eastern coast have highest rates of HIV infection among young adults, ages 20-24.

HIV Infection - Males 77% - Females 23%

HIV Infection - highest among ages 13-29 yrs.

HIV Infection by age, 2009

Heterosexual contact - leading cause - HIV infection in females

Black/African-Americans - Highest incidence HIV infection

Sexual Behaviors with most HIV infections

White and Black MSM - Majority of HIV infections

MSM - HIV infection by race-ethnicity

HIV Infections 20-24 yrs - majority in south and east U.S.

[Download a PDF of all charts]

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