HIV testing in Baltimore shows massive surge in positives
The United States of America has seen an uncontrollable increase in HIV cases without a definitive solution to minimize the rate of infection. With an estimated 1.2 million people infected with HIV nationwide, vibrant cities like Baltimore are not immune to the clutches of this dreaded infection. The nation registers about 37,600 new HIV infections each year. Although steps are being taken to tackle the problem, there is still work to be done to minimize the growing number of cases of infection through HIV testing.
While the number of HIV cases in the country is small compared to the total population, that doesn’t mean you need to let your guard down. Some population groups are more susceptible to the virus than others. The most affected group of people are homosexuals. Homosexuals account for 70% of the total number of HIV cases in the country. Of this percentage, African American gay men and Hispanic / Latino men are the most affected group of people. Next are African American women and transgender women who are same sex.
Maryland is one of the states in the United States with the highest number of HIV cases. In 2019, the state was ranked 8th with the highest number of HIV cases per 100,000 population in the United States. According to a 2020 case report, 724 new HIV cases were reported, bringing the state’s total to 31,676. These cases were reported in a group of people over the age of 13. An estimated 3,559 undiagnosed HIV cases are reported in the state.
Baltimore is a port city in the US state of Maryland and is famous for its port attractions such as the National Aquarium and the Civil War-era warship, among others. But the dark fact about the city is that HIV is very widespread, putting sexually active people at risk. The latest report says there are more HIV cases than ever in the city. It’s no surprise that Baltimore County is one of the hardest-hit counties in the state. That being said, the dark side of Baltimore City is that it is a hotspot for HIV infections.
While the number of HIV cases in the United States is alarming, one of the most alarming factors for HIV is the lack of testing. It is estimated that one in seven people living with HIV do not know they have been infected with HIV. This lack of awareness increases the likelihood of transmission as an infected person ignores their status and unknowingly spreads the virus through sexual activity or contaminated blood in the form of syringes and injections.
According to a 2017 report, Baltimore recorded 231 cases of HIV among people over the age of 13. This brings the total number of HIV cases to 10,453, of which the male population accounted for 64.6%. The majority of cases are reported in the 13-49 age group, while the 50-59 age group accounted for 33.9%. The African American population accounts for over 80% of total HIV cases. The main mode of transmission is sexual contact, which accounts for up to 32.2% of all cases. Heterosexual contact and infection with contaminated needles represent 31.5% and 29.6%, respectively.
In 2018, the city recorded a drop in cases bringing the total to 9,441 people infected with HIV. While it would have been best if rates remained low, the 2019 report’s uncontrolled spike showed that HIV testing should not be taken lightly. HIV cases increased to 18,276 with 405 new diagnoses. With a massive increase in positive cases, there is an immediate need to get tested and to keep things under control.
The main cause of the alarming spread of HIV in Baltimore is the lack of awareness and testing. While HIV comes with its share of complications and health risks, it can lead to AIDS once the immune system is damaged beyond repair. The quality of life of a person with AIDS is greatly reduced. In some cases, these people with AIDS only live a few years. HIV may not have a cure, but the right treatment can ensure a long, healthy life with less risk of transmission.
Discreet HIV tests are available in all states to help people know their status. Testing is the only sure way to find out whether or not you are infected with the virus. With proper diagnosis, it would be easier to curb the spread of infection to others, thus limiting the rate of HIV in the country, as well as in Baltimore.
HIV is a real problem in the United States and in Baltimore in particular. Symptoms of infection can be alleviated with immediate and appropriate treatment. HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact. That’s why it’s important to research potential STDs to keep your sexual health at its best.
The United States has seen a drastic increase in cases of major STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Since 2014, the country has reported a 19% increase in chlamydia cases, 63% in gonorrhea cases, 71% in primary and secondary syphilis cases and 185% in the rate of syphilis in newborns. In addition to increasing HIV cases, the state of Maryland also ranks number 12 for primary and secondary chlamydia and syphilis cases, number 24 for gonorrhea cases, and number nine for congenital syphilis cases.
Baltimore also has the highest transmission rate of STDs per 100,000 people, according to the CDC report in 2018. The transmission rate stands at 2,004 cases per 100,000 people. This puts the city at high risk for anyone who is sexually active. The city has reported 4,231 new cases of gonorrhea, 7,636 cases of chlamydia and 210 cases of syphilis, while HIV cases account for 207 cases.