AIDS Update

This is the updated information from Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends, reflecting new statistics on HIV/AIDS around the world and additional resources:


On World AIDS Day, 2014,
the face of AIDS looked like this:

In the US:

  • More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection and almost 1 in 7 (14%) don’t know they’re infected.
  • Over the past decade, new infections have held steady at about 50,000 per year.
  • Although men having sex with men (MSM) represent about 4% of the US population, in 2010 they accounted for 78% of new HIV infections in males. MSM accounted for 54% of all people living with HIV infections in 2011, the most recent year these data are available.
  • In 2010, the greatest number of new HIV infections (4,800) among MSM occurred in young African-American men aged 13-24: 45% of new HIV infections among black MSM.
  • Women accounted for 9,500 new infections in 2010, 84% from heterosexual contact, a significant 21% decrease from 2008.
  • Injection drug users represented 8% of new infections in 2010.
  • In 2010, the rate of new HIV infections for Latino males was 2.9 times that for white males, and for Latinas was 4.2 times that for white females.


  • In 2013, there were about 35 million people living with HIV. Since the start of the epidemic, around 78 million have become infected and 39 million have died.
  • New infections have fallen by 38% since 2001; among children, new infections have fallen 58%.
  • 38% of all adults living with HIV are receiving anti-retroviral treatment, but  only 24% of children.

(Statistics courtesy of UNAIDS and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Burkett, Elinor. The Gravest Show on Earth: America in the Age of AIDS. New York: Picador USA, 1995

Carl, Dwayne. Out of My Second Closet: Memoir of an AIDS Survivor. Redondo Beach, CA: Nadine Kent Press, 2012

Cohen, Peter F. Love and Anger: Essays on AIDS, Activism, and Politics. Binghamton, NY: Hayworth Press, 1998

Gould, Deborah B. Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight Against AIDS. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009

Halkaitis, Perry N. The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014

John, Elton. Love is the Cure. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2012

Kramer, Larry. Report from the Holocaust: The Story of an AIDS Activist. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994

Miller, Marla. Deadly Little Secrets. Kindle edition, 2013

Ruskin, Cindy. The Quilt: Stories from the Names Project. New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1988

Shilts, Randy. And The Band Played On. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987

Various contributors. AIDS@30. Chicago, IL: Windy City Media Group, 2011

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, a play by Tony Kushner

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, a documentary directed by Rob Epstein

Dallas Buyers Club, a film directed by Jean-Marc Vallee

How to Survive a Plague, a documentary directed by David France

Longtime Companion, a film directed by Norman Rene’

The Normal Heart, a play by Larry Kramer

Philadelphia, a film directed by Jonathan Demme

The Last One, a documentary directed by Nadine C. Licostie

United in Anger, a documentary produced by Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman

AIDS Resources:
These are some of the organizations I’ve worked with and researched. If you are looking for groups focused on education, testing, treatment and advocacy, they can help:

Names Memorial Project/AIDS Quilt:

Elton John AIDS Foundation:

AIDS Project LA:

American Foundation for AIDS Research:

ACT UP New York:

Centers for Disease Control:

World AIDS Day:

Visual AIDS:

The Red Pump Project:

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