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smartbomb
(@smartbomb)
Advanced Member

you may want to check the rank of HIV in the US... I think the VI is number 1.

With all due respect, this is blatantly false and could be construed as racist, considering that in the US infection rates among black men are the highest.

If you want the real statistics, look here.

http://www.avert.org/usastats.htm

You'll see that VI infection rate per 100,000 population is about the same as Connecticut. VI is 10th and while it's about 25% higher than the national average, it's less than half of the infection rate of New York (39.7), and slightly higher than half of the infection rate in Florida (33.9) District of Columbia has the highest rate, at over 179 per 100,000 (mostly due to IV drug use)

In general the Caribean rates are higher because of the movement of people from other Caribbean islands. HIV rates in developing nations are extremely high due to poverty-driven commercial sex. Haiti is the worst example, where the total # of infections is more than half the US's but with a population only 2.7% of the US.

Off-the-cuff remarks are fine for some topics, but not for sensitive ones like this.

/rant

PS I was an AIDS educator in college.

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Posted : January 12, 2006 11:37 pm
Cnoelle
 Cnoelle
(@Cnoelle)
Guest

I'm really quite amazed by how knowledgeable and helpful everyone seems to be on this message board. Thank you very much for your help. I suppose the fact that I was so amazed by the male-female ratio and the fact that I claim to be adventurous and spontaneous in the same message may have come across as though I couldn't wait to "get some" on the islands. My mistake. This is not what I meant. I'm not so concerned with contracting AIDS as I am wondering if the social scene is good for a woman in her 30's.
Since I may be using this message service off and on for the next few months, and may come to know some of the helpful islanders by name, I just wanted to clear that up.
It does make me so much more relaxed about the move, however, knowing that people are so thoughtful and involved. It sure isn't like that here in "what's in it for me" California- I can tell you that.
Thanks for any and all advice in advance.

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Posted : January 13, 2006 12:02 am
Island Ed
(@Island_Ed)
Advanced Member

My apologies Smartbomb, I meant to type 10, not 1. I stand corrected. Your statistics are the same as I have seen.

In the future, rather than rant, please be so polite as to ask if I was mistaken next time, and I'll surely apologize and correct myself.

I do appreciate your statistics quoted, and your interesting reasons why HIV is higher in the Caribbean. I don't see how my comments could have been constued as racist. My comments were simply to help Cnoelle be aware of the dangers of HIV/AIDS in the territory and was not an "off -the-cuff" remark. Please note the following quotes from and article a month ago on HIV/Aids in the 12/1/2005 VI Daily News, page 12:

"Deadly statistics

Dr. Gayann Hall, director of the V.I. Health Department's HIV-STD program, said the territories infection rate is troubling.

"For a small territory, we have a large volume of people living with HIV", said Hall, who specializes in sexually transmitted diseases. "The most important thing people have to realize in the Virgin Islands is transmission through heterosexual contact has a high incident rate."

Jason Henry, the Health Department's territorial HIV prevention coordinator, said the men on the down low (down low - a term for seemingly heterosexual man having affairs with other men)population remains hidden in the territory. He said it is difficult for Health to quantify how many men are on the down low because it does not specifically track the behavior.

"Most people think of it as infection in certain groups of people," Hall said. "We have people in their 50s and 60s, people in committed marriages and young people."

Most HIV carriers show no visible signs. "People think you can recognize an infected person," she said.

It takes 10 years on average before the virus shows.

Hall said Virgin Islanders wait too long to find out their status. "People are presenting when they are symptomatic." "

Smartbomb, my concern for anyone, especially single women moving to the VI, is that there is "a large volume of people living with HIV" on the islands, that some number of men are on the "down low", and many are waiting "too long to find out their status"... all of which plausibly drives your quoted statistics even higher. This may be a common scenario with HIV/Aids, I don't know, but it was worthy of mention in the VI Daily News. It appears there could be more of a HIV/Aids danger in the VI (and many other places) than the mere statistics report, and I felt as a contributor to this board, it would be prudent to bring this up. I'm sorry if I upset you.

Cnoelle,

I didn't mean to imply YOU were "wanting to get some", but that you MAY be the recipient of mens adventurous and spontaneous advances. Sorry.

Regards,

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Posted : January 13, 2006 2:13 am
STT Resident
(@STT_Resident)
Trusted Member

Oh Crikey, these posts get so onerous and also so heart-breaking.

My bartender told me tonight that two of the young ladies she met through this board and subsequently met on island are pregnant after being here on island for just a few months. Another who was on this forum came here and was here for one month. Too wrapped up in snorting and sniffing and having unprotected sex, she just went back to the mainland three months pregnant with twins and had an abortion right away. Yeah - her aborted twins were conceived PRIOR to her coming here but she didn't have a clue. DUH!

Unprotected sex is NEVER an option in this day and age ANYWHERE and yet so many newbies come here and lose their sensibilities, caught up in the beach and sun routine.

The USVI certainly does have one of the highest HIV positive populations under the American flag. It is rarely talked about and, despite the efforts of many, a majority of young local males and females rail against any sort of protection. Raised with basically absentee parents, they grow up going with the flow of what they know. Which is tantamount to nothing.

The HIV statistics are quarky because those who are diagnosed HIV positive OR with fullblown AIDS and who have the financial druthers, either go to PR or to the mainland for treatment - or to die.

The local population in general simply doesn't accept that their loved one died of AIDS because that, to them, is an "antiman" problem and they can't recognize or rationalize homosexuality. Their family member died a lingering death from AIDS-related problems (pneumocystus carini, etc) but the obituary will read that he (or she) "finally passed away after a long illness."

From one end of the spectrum to the other, it would seem very clear that we in the Virgin Islands have a very big problem where sexual activity is concerned, not only with our local population but also with transients. I guess it's all about denial and an inability to face up to facts.

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Posted : January 13, 2006 4:09 am
smartbomb
(@smartbomb)
Advanced Member

Like I said, I don't mean any disrespect and I certainly don't intend to flame anyone. HIV is a serious topic and shouldn't be tossed around casually or lightly. People need the right information.

Statistics don't absolve anyone from policing their behavior. Whether or not one is on a beautiful tropical island, it's important to always be safe with an intimate partner, and for IV drug users not to share needles.

nuff said.

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Posted : January 13, 2006 2:09 pm
Autumn
(@Autumn)
Advanced Member

Do they have anything close to a planned parenthood? A place to hand out free condoms? I did see signs when I was there encouraging people to get tested for HIV~but the sign was only in one location.(that I saw)

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Posted : January 13, 2006 2:29 pm
katetastrophee
(@katetastrophee)
Advanced Member

Cnoelle-
Age doesn't really matter much. Generally, people with similar interests hangout together regardless of age. Don't worry. You'll make friends.

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Posted : January 13, 2006 11:25 pm
mell
 mell
(@mell)
Advanced Member

Regarding the HIV / AIDS statistics discussion that arose during this thread.......

I just read the following piece in the January/February issue of Island News written by Lynda Lohr, which distinguishes between the incidence of HIV infection, on the one hand, and the incidence of AIDS, on the other:

HIV RATE HIGHEST IN THE NATION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported that the territory ranks third in the AIDS rate. The HIV rate stands at 281.7 per 100,000 residents, far higher than the next highest rate of 238.2 in New York. The AIDS rate is 347.6, lower than Washington, D.C.'s rate of 1906 and New York's of 437.1 per 100,000 people."

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Posted : January 15, 2006 3:33 am
Island Ed
(@Island_Ed)
Advanced Member

GEEZ, I guess even WITH my clerical error I am not a blatant liar... LOL

Sadly, I wonder what the statistics are if, as STT Resident said, many who leave for treatment in Puerto Rico or the mainland were included in the numbers.

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Posted : January 15, 2006 12:45 pm
mell
 mell
(@mell)
Advanced Member

In fact, Island Ed, it appears that your original statement was accurate. The double-digit numbers referred to in a previous post are the number of new AIDS (not HIV) cases in the territory per year, while the numbers you and I read about in two separate publications are the total cumulative number of HIV and AIDS cases divided by the population of the USVI times 100,000.

I try to stay away from "controversial" subjects in general, but I thought that the "off the cuff" blasting you received for your original post was uncalled for. Furthermore, it turns out that the poster who did so was misinterpreting the data.

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Posted : January 15, 2006 1:57 pm
Island Ed
(@Island_Ed)
Advanced Member

Thank you Mell.
In all honesty, I really did mean to say number 10, not number 1. I have heard the statistics are much higher, but I was originally referencing what I remember reading in a news article... I just didnt remember where. I also know of some alarming unpublished statistics here, but refrained from mentioning them so as not to incur anyone's blistering wrath because of their disbelief.
Thanks for looking into this.

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Posted : January 15, 2006 2:33 pm
smartbomb
(@smartbomb)
Advanced Member

People need to truly understand the terms properly before raising the alarm on such topics.

Citing higher rate of new cases in such a small population is extremely misleading. That's kind of like saying that because you found 2 ants in your house that the infestation of ants in the entire country is raising by 200%. It's not very informative about the topic here, which is general risk.

The link I published has total cases in 2004, the most recent data that is available. Further, the CDC doesn't publish these statistics - they refer to Kaiser data @ www.statehealthfacts.org. The Island News may be popular, but it's "A Newsletter published by Virgin Island Property Owners" - a dubious source of statistical health data at best.

Lastly, I wsn't giving Ed a keyboard lashing, merely try to make people aware of the gravity of this topic and get the right information out. This isn't about trying to be right - its about getting the right information out to people on a topic that people in the US generally take too lightly if they even consider it at all.

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Posted : January 15, 2006 3:01 pm
mell
 mell
(@mell)
Advanced Member

Hi Smartbomb,

Not to belabor this, but............................

I agree with you that "Citing higher rates of new cases in such a small population is extremely misleading." Unfortunately, it is you -- not I -- that is citing that particular statistic.

Just do the arithmetic using your avert.com table and the formula I stated above, or examine the statehealthfacts.org/CDC data carefully.

No need for us to disagree, I think the larger point is/was that people should be careful and take the necessary precautions to avoid STD's 🙂

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Posted : January 15, 2006 4:40 pm
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