The voluntary human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to be diagnosed in increasing numbers each year. Though the younger generation has always been the most affected by this disease, unfortunately the amount of elderly now suffering from HIV has grown 15%. Due to the older population in Florida, this has been blooming into a huge problem.
- Who are, or have been, injectable drug users
- In treatment for sexually transmitted diseases
- Who have unprotected sex with many partners
- Who are male and have had sex with men after 1975
- Who had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985
- Who exchange sex for money or drugs, or sexually active with a partner who does
- Who have a sexual history with injectable drug users, an HIV-infected partner, or a bisexual
Many people don’t get tested because they fear public exposure and want to maintain their privacy. This is not a problem, because HIV testing is strictly kept confidential. Some people are dealing with the fear of knowing the truth, but it is better to be aware of your condition so it can be treated, instead of letting it fester out of control. Other people are experiencing guilt, and feel foolish for letting themselves get into such a dire situation, so they don't get tested due to becoming increasingly depressed. Worse, are the people who are simply embarrassed to get the screening, because they are worried about what others my think of them.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved standard tests and HIV rapid screening. It is important to put aside the excuses and get tested if you have any risk of HIV exposure. The sooner it is detected and treated, the better your chances of a longer quality life.