World News

Published on December 1st, 2019 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


The HIV/AIDS Crisis Is Far From Over


While enormous strides have been made since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, the crisis is far from over. In fact, rates of HIV diagnoses among young adults in the U.S. have surged in recent years – accounting for more than half of new diagnoses – despite overall new diagnoses remaining stable.

In partnership with the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC), Merck launched Owning HIV: Young Adults and the Fight Ahead, a new campaign featuring results from a new survey to better understand young adults’ perceptions and beliefs about HIV.

The survey, fielded by Kantar Group between June 17 and August 5, 2019, was a cross-sectional, one-time online survey of approximately 1,600 US-based Gen Z (18-22) and millennials (23-36) who were self-reported HIV positive, or self-reported HIV negative/unknown, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight individuals. The goal of this study was to uncover attitudes and perceptions around HIV among young adults in the U.S. To date, this is the first survey to focus on the beliefs and perceptions about HIV among Generation Z (Gen Z) and millennials in the U.S.

Survey findings show a jarring trend of general confusion and insufficient knowledge of HIV and transmission, along with the existence of high-risk sexual practices, poor disease management, and stigmatizing behaviors among young adults.

Key Survey Findings Include:

  • Survey findings showed a profound lack of accurate sex and HIV education among all participants, however the trend worsened in Gen Z

o   More than two-thirds of HIV-negative young adults said they were most concerned about getting HIV as compared to other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

o   54% of HIV-negative respondents did not report using condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to protect themselves against the HIV virus and other STIs

  • Although millennials and Gen Z did not experience the start of the HIV epidemic firsthand, they still perpetuate the stigma seen in the early days of HIV

o   More than one quarter of HIV-negative millennials said they have avoided hugging, talking to or being friends with someone with HIV, and 30% said they would prefer not to interact socially with someone with HIV

o   People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed) have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partners. The survey found that respondents had varying perceptions about what it means to be undetectable and the risk of transmitting the virus to another person.

o   84% of Gen Z and 65% of millennials living with HIV who are abstaining from sex do so because of their HIV-positive status

Tags: , ,

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑