Real Talk And Poll: Do You Still Worry About HIV/AIDs?

We’re pretty pleased that we’ve reached a point in our lives where we’ve stopped seeing AIDs a cool counterculture symbol, and more of a “really, really bad thing.” That may be the definition of maturity! But that doesn’t stop it from being a disease that affects 33.3 million people worldwide (and 1.2 million in the United States). With World AIDs Day 2011 coming up tomorrow (December 1st) we’re curious about how many of you still worry about HIV/AIDs. You can tell us in our poll, and check out the responses below.

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

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For more information on World AIDS Day, go to ONE.org.

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    • Fabel

      “…”let’s be serious, none of us are going to get it’ and by us, I believe she meant college educated, upper middle class women who are non-drug users.” Oh cool, Annie, this is the kind of attitude that’s kept AIDs stigmatized & viewed as a disease that only “those people” (intravenous drug users and homosexual men) get as “punishment”. And not knowing anyone who has it makes no difference, as I’d imagine most people (due to the aforementioned stigma) would keep quiet about it unless they were planning to sleep with you. Also, a great deal of people who DO have it don’t even know because they feel as if they’re not at risk & therefore don’t get tested. You know, like “Ha! We’re never going to get it! We’re college-educated, upper-middle class white women!”

      (P.S. Clearly yes, I still worry about HIV/AIDs)

      • Avodah

        Unfortunately, most people in the US who HIV or AIDS are homosexual and/or drugs users. No, I do not think it is a punishment, nor do I think anyone “deserves” it. You can check the CDC and WHO for these statistics. In my opinion, this means we need to focus more on the population that is most at risk.

        Further, this means for HIV and AIDS in Africa very different preventative measures must be taken.

      • Fabel

        I realize the statistics, but I’m saying that one should still worry about it even if they’re not in that demographic. You don’t contract AIDS simply by being a gay male or a drug user– people in those groups are “at risk” because of a history of ignorance of the disease and reckless behavior. And anyone who thinks they don’t have to worry about HIV is also at risk, because they’re more likely to forgo protection or testing if their attitude is “People like me don’t get AIDs!” For me, this means everyone should focus on it.

    • Jamie Peck

      How could anyone who has sex with people outside of monogamy/testing possibly NOT worry about AIDS? I really, really, really dislike the attitude that rich white people can’t get it. That’s some Cat Marnell shit.

      • Avodah

        They *can* get AIDS. But the most at-risk populations are homosexual males and/or drug users. Yes, we all need to be aware and be safe. However, this is the most at-risk population. And to clarify, before I get called a bigot and whatnot I do not think it is okay that ANYONE has HIV or AIDS. I think that identifying the most at risk populations is useful for preventions and cures.

    • Eileen

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that I worry actively about it – it certainly doesn’t consume me on a day-to-day basis – but I certainly am aware of it, and that’s why, unlike most of the people in that survey you guys did awhile ago, I always use condoms when having sex. And I get tests independent of donating blood, which also screens like whoa for HIV, for obvious reasons, so while it’s certainly not a substitute for regular HIV tests if you’re engaging in any sort of risky behavior, it is a good reminder that you don’t have it.

      (BTW, being rich and well-educated does nothing. I might accept “I am a lesbian who doesn’t use drugs” as a reason why infection is unlikely, and definitely “I am celibate and don’t use drugs,” but come on. HIV can happen to anyone.)

    • Tania

      I think about it when I ponder having sex with strangers (haven’t yet!), and when I ponder having to have a blood transfusion (haven’t yet!), but otherwise I never worry about it. I don’t do anything that puts me at risk of contracting it.

      I do think about it a lot in terms of friends, though. I have a lot of gay male friends and the idea of one of them testing positive because he got too into it and didn’t insist on a condom makes me hurt, but you can’t baby adults. :(

    • MM

      I don’t worry about HIV a lot, not because I believe being white and middle-class exempts me from having it, but because it’s very easy to prevent by using protection with every new or untested partner. I have had casual sex on occasion but I have always been very careful about it. It baffles me to no end how cavalier some people are about condom use.

    • Avodah

      @Fabel- I agree completely, those are the most at risk populations. Given that I am not a member of those populations I am not really concerned. I have been tested, my boyfriend has been tested, and we use protection. Game, set, match.