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BETHUNE-COOKMAN UNIVERSITY

HIV Statistics in American Colleges

Kelli Gibson
04/14/2011
MA 132-I TR 1pm
Project Paper

Introduction:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a lethal virus that eventually causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS.) Once the virus is contracted it attacks and destroys the human immune system. The human immune system is group of biological structures that protect the body from harmful particles that may enter. Without the immune system the tiniest thing like a common cold can be lethal to the human body.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,106,400 people were infected with HIV (not including ones affected with AIDS) in 2006. By 2008, there were approximately 53,000 new cases and in 2009 another 42,959 was added to that number. Out of the 42,959 new cases in 2009, 8,460 hadn’t even seen their 25th birthday. As a matter of fact, the incidence of HIV cases among the age groups increase dramatically at the 15-19 age group and the rates peek at the 20-24 age group. Who are these people? Unfortunately, they are American’s bright future; our college students. “As of 2008 1 out of every 1500 college students are HIV positive and 2 people between the ages 13-25 are infected every hour” (C. Slaughter). Where did this horrific epidemic come from? How did it start? How does it affect our nation’s college students? And most importantly, what are we doing about it? How did it start?

Although new research dates HIV/AIDS in the United States as early as the 1950s the epidemic was not recognized until the early 1980s. Cases of young homosexual men dying from failed immune systems began to swarm the hospitals of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and then New York. Within 2 years dozens and dozens of cases of infected men, women, and children began to emerge all over the United States. By the end of 1982 the deadly virus and disease was named HIV/AIDS. By 1983 a doctor in France isolated the HIV, allowing it to be studied. It was then noticed that the HIV virus was blood born and developed into AIDS which destroys the immune system. Most importantly research discovered that despite the nations popular belief anyone could get it! There was not a breakthrough in where the origin of HIV was until 1999. This year a group of researchers discover Simian Immunodeficiency Virus also known as SIV. SIV is almost identical to HIV but SIV is found in monkeys. There is many beliefs as in to how the disease was transferred to humans from monkeys. The most popular belief is “The Hunters Theory”. This theory says that when hunters use to hunt the monkeys and kill them the monkeys blood would get into the hunters blood and infect them or when the hunters would eat the monkey they would contract the virus. The next popular belief is “The Conspiracy Theory”. This theory says that the US federal Special Cancer Virus Program is to blame. This belief says that the virus was manmade or manufactured to wipe out the African Americans and homosexuals. This belief ignores certain facts but is not yet disapproved. Many people believe that on a selected group of people can be infected with HIV. Young adults in particular felt as if they invincible. Many teens and young adults continued to practice unsafe sex. Not soon after unwanted pregnancies wasn’t the only consequence. In 1995, sexually active young adults from age 15-19 were asked if they used a condom the last time they had sexual intercourse. Only 54% responded that they had protected themselves. The young people were not being educated and the virus was spreading to fast for anyone to conduct any kind of research in rapid enough time. By 2000 the number of HIV cases had quadrupled, with the highest infected age group being adults 30-39. However, by the end of the millennium’s first decade a shocking truth was evident. Our “invincible” youth (ages 20-24) neglected to protect themselves and have crept to the top of the charts...
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