Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

The Face of HIV in California is Among Young People of Color

Nov 30, 2012

December 1st is World AIDS Day. Here in California, health officials say the face of the disease is getting younger. 

More than 110,000 Californians are currently living with an HIV or AIDS diagnosis, and roughly 14 cases are diagnosed in the state every day. 

Dr. Gil Chavez of the California Department of Public Health says he’s seeing more cases among young, gay, minorities. 

“The 13-24 year age group is the only demographic group in the state where we have seen an increasing – in new HIV infections.” 

Chavez says HIV is no longer a death sentence. The sooner an infected person gets tested, the better the prognosis.  

“The infectiousness of an individual who is HIV/AIDS infected reduces by 96% when those folks are under treatment.” 

The vast majority of HIV cases in California are male, and the primary source of infection is unprotected sex between men.