HIV Current State of Affairs - June 27th, 2022 Episode

Updated: Oct 17

Many statistics from:

What is HIV?

HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus.” It’s a virus that can only infect humans and leads to the weakening of the immune system. The immune system is the body’s system for fighting disease. When it’s compromised or weakened, a person becomes “immunodeficient” or vulnerable to all kinds of bacteria, viruses, or other agents that cause disease.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome - AIDS - is a consequence of HIV infection.

Left untreated, this virus erodes the population of white blood cells called helper T cells and leaves the person susceptible to infections

How does HIV spread?

HIV is carried in semen (cum), vaginal fluids, anal mucus, blood, and breast milk. Most people who get HIV get it through anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles syringes. You can get HIV from:

Having vaginal or anal sex

Sharing needles or syringes for shooting drugs, piercings, tattoos, etc.

Getting stuck with a needle that has HIV-infected blood on it

Getting HIV-infected blood, semen (cum), or vaginal fluids into open cuts or sores on your body

What are signs and symptoms of HIV & AIDS?

It can be years before symptoms of HIV make you feel sick, so many people may not know that they have it. That’s why routine HIV testing is so important.
At first, you might feel achy, feverish, or like you have the flu. These symptoms are your body’s first reaction to the HIV infection. Common early symptoms include:




Mouth sores

Muscle Aches

Night Sweats


Sore Throat

Swollen Lymph Nodes

During this time, there’s a lot of the virus in your system, so it’s really easy to spread HIV to other people. The symptoms only last for a few weeks, and then you usually don’t have symptoms again for years. But HIV can be spread to other people — whether or not you have symptoms or feel sick.

Common HIV symptoms in women include:

Changes in Menstrual Cycle (heavier or lighter periods or bad PMS)

Lower Belly Pain due to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pain During Sex

Vaginal Yeast Infections

How many are affected?


28.2 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy as of 30 June 2021.

37.7 million [30.2 million–45.1 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2020.

36 million have died from it

1.5 million [1.0 million–2.0 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2020.

680 000 [480 000–1.0 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2020. 

79.3 million [55.9 million–110 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic.

36.3 million [27.2 million–47.8 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

53% of all people living with HIV were women and girls.

In 2019, the rate was highest for persons aged 25-34 (30.1), followed by the rate for persons aged 35-44 (16.5).

GA > FL > LA

A Crisis in Our Backyard

According to the Florida Department of Health, between 2014 to 2016, the number of new HIV diagnoses rose in Florida by 8% in people of all ages and lead the nation in the number of new HIV infections. Alarmingly, Hillsborough County had the largest increase at 63% and Pinellas County at 32%

Furthermore, among Floridians in their 20s there was an increase in HIV cases of 20% from 2007 to 2016. And specifically, for those same nine years, there was an increase of 28% in Pinellas and Pasco counties, and 23% in Hillsborough County in that age group.

For many the memory of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s-90s has faded but the epidemic of today is not just localized to the gay communities of San Francisco or New York. HIV affects Floridians from many walks of life, is specifically increasing among the young and remains a significant danger especially to immigrants, drug users, and the homeless. Black and Hispanic communities are disproportionately affected. Latinos accounted for 34 percent of the new HIV diagnoses in Florida in 2018.

AIDS-related deaths

AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 64% since the peak in 2004 and by 47% since 2010.

In 2020, around 680 000 [480 000–1 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, compared to 1.9 million [1.3 million–2.7 million] people in 2004 and 1.3 million [910 000–1.9 million] people in 2010.

AIDS-related mortality has declined by 53% among women and girls and by 41% among men and boys since 2010.

COVID-19 and HIV

People living with HIV experience more severe outcomes and have higher comorbidities from COVID-19 than people not living with HIV. In mid-2021, most people living with HIV did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Studies from England and South Africa have found that the risk of dying from COVID-19 among people with HIV was double that of the general population.

Being on therapy does not mean that the immune system is functioning

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two thirds (67%) of people living with HIV. But the COVID-19 vaccines that can protect them are not arriving fast enough. In July 2021, less than 3% of people in Africa had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sub-saharan Africa has many countries with some of the lowest percentage antiretroviral therapy so more are at risk

Factors that fuel HIV

Violence against women and girls increases their risk of acquiring HIV. [8] A study in South Africa found that the association of intimate partner violence and HIV was stronger in the presence of controlling behaviour and high HIV prevalence. [9]

In some settings up to 45 per cent of adolescent girls report that their first sexual experience was forced. [10]

Worldwide more than 700 million women alive today were married before their eighteenth birthday. [11] They often have limited access to prevention information and limited power to protect themselves from HIV infection.

Globally, only 3 in every 10 adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years have comprehensive and accurate knowledge about HIV. [12] The lack of information on HIV prevention and the power to use this information in sexual relationships, including in the context of marriage, undermines women’s ability to negotiate condom use and engage in safer sex practices.

Women living with HIV are more likely to experience violence, [13] including violations of their sexual and reproductive rights. [14] Involuntary and coerced sterilization and forced abortion among women living with HIV has been reported in at least 14 countries worldwide. [15]

Women’s access to property and inheritance rights can be critical in preventing HIV. A baseline study conducted in nine countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) found that stigma associated with HIV-positive status was a significant deterrent to reporting or pursuing property and inheritance rights violations. [16]

Legal norms directly affect women’s risk of acquiring HIV. [17] In many countries where women are most at risk, laws to protect them are weak [18]. A lack of legal rights reinforces the subordinate status of women, especially in relation to women’s rights to divorce, to own and inherit property, to enter into contracts, to sue and testify in court, to consent to medical treatment and to open a bank account. [19]

Discriminatory criminalization laws linked to HIV can disproportionately affect women, as they are more likely to be tested and know their status through antenatal care. [20] HIV-positive mothers are criminals under all of the HIV laws of West and Central Africa, which explicitly or implicitly forbid them from being pregnant or breastfeeding, lest they transmit the virus to the fetus or child. [21]






Anti-retroviral therapy

Natural Therapies


Planned parenthood

Metro health

Safer STD testing - many sites