Originally Posted by Jovial
Point well-taken. In my second post I did say "...at least in the USA." Sorry for not pointing that out in the first post.
Do you know what percent of heterosexual and homosexual men/women have HIV in the USA? I can't find the statistics, only the reported cases by transmission category which includes "high-risk heterosexual contact" (Heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or to be at high risk for, HIV infection.) The CDC doesn't seem to give HIV statistics among heterosexuals in general.
Jovial, as the poster above me quoted, the CDC is highly ignorant of the real numbers. Methinks it has something to do with a political agenda? Then again, they do good work, most of the time.
As the epidemic progresses the numbers are shifting toward heterosexual women, unfortunately. Just know that most people who are HIV+ don't even know they are HIV+ because they haven't tested. I think there is a vast hidden HIV+ population that isn't represented in the numbers because heterosexual people, for the most part, don't even think of getting tested because they believe that the risk is minimal for them.
In most of the rest of the world (non-Western countries) this is a disease that affects heterosexual people as much as homosexual people. Yes, it started to spread among intravenous drug users and men who have sex with men in the western world first. Unfortunately the tide is shifting in the western world because men who have sex with men are generally aware of the risks and, in my experience, take some sort of precautions. In talking with my heterosexual friends, they don't seem to take the same precautions because they are, for the most part, under the impression that risk is incredibly low for them. They're worried about pregnancy, mainly. And if the woman is on birth control pills then they generally don't seem to bother with condoms.
I think that in western countries the governments don't want to have a general panic on their hands so they don't stress the possibility of heterosexual transmission in their efforts to curb the spread of HIV. Instead they focus their efforts on men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users. It seems to be more politically agreeable to lump men who have sex with men in with intravenous drug users, further alienating and isolating both communities, than to acknowledge that the risk for HIV is universal. I think that this is going to turn out to be a big mistake and future generations are going to look back and curse us for having been so politically motivated in our containment efforts. This is my humble opinion from my own personal experience of working with HIV+ and HIV- people as a psychotherapist intern. And it's not a scientific study, I realize that. Also, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I have great exposure to HIV issues here...