Actor Charlie Sheen Publicly Disclosing His HIV Status Underscores
Dangers of High-Risk Behavior
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest AIDS
organization, issued a national reminder that sexually active people
should practice safer sex by using condoms consistently, undergoing
regular health screenings for HIV and other sexually transmitted
diseases, and promptly seeking medical treatment to avoid transmitting
infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
estimates that approximately 50,000 people in the United States are
newly infected with HIV each year and that 9 out of 10 new infections
arise from people living with HIV/AIDS who are not in medical care to
achieve viral suppression, including those who are unaware of their
infection. The CDC also estimates that just 30% of people living with
HIV/AIDS have the virus under control.
“We’ve seen way too many examples of people’s lives being changed
forever by having unprotected sex,” said AHF Chief of Medicine Dr.
Michael Wohlfeiler. “The AIDS virus does not discriminate
based on race, gender, fame or fortune and it makes one wonder why, when
people are involved in high risk activity, they don’t protect
themselves. The old adage holds true that it’s better to be safe than
sorry. Even relying on the word of someone who says they are
‘undetectable’ is risky because a lot of people are not adherent to the
daily pill regimens—especially those who are struggling with addiction.
It’s truly a shame that people have gotten themselves in trouble in a
variety of different ways because they did not take the simple and easy
precaution of using a condom.”
HIV is transmitted through the following methods:
Having sex without a condom
HIV infection can happen
through anal, vaginal or oral sex without the use of a condom.
Unprotected (condom-less) oral sex is not as risky as vaginal and
anal, but still can spread HIV, especially when there are cuts,
bleeding gums or canker sores in the mouth. Learn
more about condoms and their use.
Sharing needles, syringes or drug works
Sharing any of the
equipment to inject drugs can spread HIV.
Pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
an HIV-positive woman will transmit HIV to her child during pregnancy
or childbirth about 25% of the time. Babies can also become positive
AHF’s Wellness Centers provide free testing for sexually transmitted
diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. To find the
nearest location for STD screening and treatment, visit www.freestdcheck.org.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
500,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth,
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director,
Johnson, Associate Director of Communications