HIV and the Armed Forces

The Facts

According to a 2004 release from the Depratment of Defense, the rate of HIV across the militay is equal to the U.S. civilian population for those of the same gender and age. Statistically, 2 out of every 10,000 members of the armed forces are infected.

For the second year in a row, Fort Bliss has had the most soldiers infected with HIV in the army. There has been a slight surge in the number of those infected from 2011 to 2012.

What puts this population at risk?

People in the armed forced often have unproected sex, which puts them at hih risk for contracting HIV, and other STIs.


Recent cases deal with men having unprotected sex with other men. Latino and African-American soldiers were affected more compared to other soldiers. For Fort Bliss specifically, online solicitations for sex has been the root of many HIV cases.

Prevention

HIV testing became manditory to get every two years after March 29, 2004. However, before his date testing varied and not much emphasis was placed on it.

Although a vast number of people in the Armed Services are uncomfortable with the issue, officals today are working on eduating this population about HIV and other STIs. Soldiers are encouraged to use protection, such as condoms, and they are urged to get tested for HIV to avoid spreading it.

Reflections

1. Most young people do not consider themselves as high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. This is because most of them do not think about consequences such as getting an uncurable virus until it is too late. However, after researching the topic of HIV, my views on the subject has changed. I believe that all people, young and old, should be educated about HIV and other STIs so that they know how to prevent them.

2. Even though young people are at risk or contracting HIV, many are reluctant to use protection because either they do not know how to use them properly or they are not aware of the risks o unprotected sex. Many young people are also impulsive, so they jump into things without thinking about the danger of doing so. I think males and females have different view on this though, and depending on the area where a person grew up (urban, suburban, rural), using protection may not have been emphasized to them.

3. If I had a friend who was behaving in such a way that they were putting themselves in the danger of getting HIV/AIDS, I would present to them the facts that show how easy it is to get the virus, and I would tell them what the virus does to scare them into being safe.

Works Cited

Burbank, Whitney. "Fort Bliss Leads Army Installations with Most HIV Infections in Past Two Years." KVIA. N.p., 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013