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HIV, AIDS on the rise locally

READ MORE: HIV, AIDS on the rise locally
WILMINGTON -- Not only is the number of cases up in our region, but it seems the disease is spreading across demographic lines. According to statistics from New Hanover Regional Medical Center 190 new cases have emerged in our seven-county area in the past two years. Experts say the disease is also affecting a younger population -- a quarter of those infected are between the ages of 20 and 30, and 60 five percent of them are male. Nurse practitioner Victoria Oxendine says the more we know about the disease, the less likely we are to contract it. "Know the information about HIV, know what's going on with your body, know your partner's information. Because it doesn't affect just one person, it affects a whole community," Oxendine said. Of those treated at New Hanover 50 percent of them contracted the disease through heterosexual contact, 33 percent were through homosexual male contact and 12 percent through intravenous drug use. One local young man has been living with HIV his whole life. He and others involved in helping the local aids community say the primary problem is a lack of education. Charles Greene was born HIV-positive. He said, "Back when I was in school it wasn't easy to talk about." He's now 22 and has outlived his mother, who passed it along to him after she contracted the virus from a blood transfusion. Greene says he's comfortable with the fact that he suffers from AIDS, but that others also need to be in order to make progress. Greene said, "People need to stop being scared of it and accept it and try to live with it -- like I've done." And more people in our region are -- according to statistics released by New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The disease is also affecting younger people. Nearly a quarter of the infected population is between 20 and 30 years of age. Transmission modes have also changed. Of those treated at New Hanover, 50 percent were through heterosexual contact. Coastal AIDS Resource Program Director Gaye Hieb said, "People have taken the urgency and importance away from it and are not being as precautious as they can." Hieb says education is the key to prevention. "Prevention education has been out of the mindset of everyone and people just immediately think you take a pill or pop a pill and that's it and they go on and it's a lot more involved than that," Hieb said. "I think we need to get into the school system and educate our youth about the prevention measures," Hieb said. Greene agrees. He added that if young people choose to have sex, they need to be careful "The best bet is get tested, I think. And talk to your partner, a lot," Greene said. Not only is the number of people with aids on the rise -- New Hanover Regional Medical Center's statistics show more people are also becoming infected with the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are also up.

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well if they would stop letting in the mexicans that jump the border the mabe you could slow down aids. they dont get checked before they comehere.

Re: HIV on the rise

I knew I had to respond when I saw the lack intelligent comments on this subject. There are several ways to contact HIV, this we know. This article is illustrating that HIV is not a 'gay' disease. Fifty percent of new cases were through heterosexual contact. I'm sure that nationwide, most people who contract this horrible disease are gay, however the trend locally is that more straight people are getting the disease. It does not matter which label you choose to identify yourself with. This serious disease does not care if you are gay, straight, bi, black, white etc. Practice safe sex.

Does it matter how?

Does it really matter how they are contracting the disease? I believe the real issue is that they are contracting it. If we spent as much time and energy on helping as we do condemning one another we could all live happier and healthier lives. Unfortunately, it seems as though people are more prone to judge others than be compassionate toward humanity. Take five minutes and think about what you have done and how lucky you are to be disease free. I am grateful for that each and every day. May all of you have a joyous holiday season.

Why yes, it does matter

There are certainly people I feel compassion for: The hemophiliac who died prior to blood screening, the police officer who got stuck with a dirty needle while searching a suspect, the healthcare professional who had an accident while working on an HIV positive person, and most recently the four organ recipients who are now infected because of a donor who contracted the diease too close to the actual organ harvesting to be detected. All of those cases are indeed sad and deserving of compassion. When you contract the disease through your own carelessness or msiconduct, however, don't expect other people to care very much. It's your problem, not theirs. I feel no compassion when an idiot who owns a cobra for a pet gets bitten and dies. I feel no compassion when a person who throws their life away on drugs dies of an overdose. I smoked for a long time before I quit. If I die of lung cancer, trust me, I expect no pity or compassion. After all, compassion is a rather useless, after-the-fact replacement for intelligence, judgment, and individual responsibility, isn't it? Keep your pants on, keep needles out of your arms, and HIV/AIDS will likely never call at your door.

Great PC Cleanup Job

You avoided all the key issues that clearly identify those at risk: * Homosexual males who engage in unprotected sex * Intravenous drug abusers * Women who engage in intercourse with a man who uses intravenous drugs or has engaged in sex with a male. Yes, there are cases of people born HIV positive, or who contracted the disease during a rape or medical procedure/accident, but the greatest majority of HIV positive people BY FAR are in that state because of their own irresponsible conduct.


Seems to me if everyone waited until they got married to have sex, AIDS wouldn't be as bad as it is today, granted there are blood transfusion transmissions etc, but that is almost non existant these days.....follow God's plan and 10 commandmendts and no worries

Does anyone wonder why?

If you are wondering how this can possibly be, look at under the m4m section. Not only are there typical gay men out there doing their thing...but more and more married men "looking for fun while the wife is away" out there. Other sites like show area men (married as well) out there meeting up for casual (and usually unsafe) sex. Women reading this article should check these sites and see if your man is doing these things. Until we all become active to stop it, AIDS and other STDs will run rampant.

Take Control of your "Life"

Thank you for that information and I will be checking out those sites. I am a Health Coordinator and I am trying my best to educate the public and church members about this deadly disease and no one seems to be listening. They mostly have the attitude that this can't happen to them or a family member, I got news for them, it could and it will if we don't start educating our kids and ourselves. I had just had a health fair on the 10th of this month...I advertised for two months, from the radios, website, tv, fliers, letters to churches, and no one other than 12 members of the church came. Everything was free to the public from the testing of AIDS to other stuff. How sad is that. I just wanted to share this with you all and thank you again for the information. Women you are the protectors of your bodies. Don't let these husbands and boyfriends cost you your lives, if they won't wear that condom...then you wear yours.


The last I checked, New Hanover County health services provided confidential but not anonymous HIV tests. This may have changed. Anyone know? I understand health care providers and insurers have access to such records; with an anonymous test one is assigned a number and names are never recorded. This lack of privacy discouraged me and I would not be surprised if others felt the same.

HIV, AIDS -- loaded poll

The poll is skewed. Will "education" make a difference? Probably, but not a positive one. The tired, failed, so-called "educating our youth" strategy is more about tempting teens and young singles to sexual promiscuity and experimentation (through normalization of sexual relationships and activity outside marriage), NOT disease prevention. That only comes about by exercising self-respect and self-restraint -- not encouraging teens to play virtual Russian roulette with condoms and "outercouse" techniques. I find it interesting that WWAY has chosen to profile an AIDS patient (Greene) who did not acquire the disease through illicit sexual activity. While that can and does happen, unfortunately, it is certainly the exception rather than the rule and does not represent the usual means of transmission, which is almost 100% preventable -- and with little or no cost to health insurance providers and taxpayers, I might add.


Some of your statements may be true, but how Mr. Greene got AIDS should not really be the issue. The issue here is the fact that he does have Aids and making people aware of how he got it at birth is just as important as if he contracted it through other means. A lot of women are not thinking about their behavior and the consequences of their behavior. Most people don't want to deal with this disease and it is not going away. I lost my brother at 34 he died from AIDS and he didn't have to. He had a college degree and he knew what would happen if he didn't protect himself...he took the chance and ultimately he suffer the consequence of death which is very final. I feel like people who know about this disease and know what this disease can do and decide to ignore the warning, are playing a dangerous game a game they will lose.

Don't Be Silly

Don't Be Silly.... Wrap Your Willy !

Thou Shalt not Judge

Having had an uncle die from the disease and seeing how it hurts the individual and the family, it upsets me to see people pointing fingers and judging others. Its the irrational judgment calls from people who are holier than God which made me leave church in the first place. Jesus spoke of compassion and was always caring for the poor and downtrodden. The sooner people feel free to be more open about this disease, the sooner we can eradicate it.