June 10, 2014
36,648. That’s the number of New Jersey residents living with HIV/AIDS according to the New Jersey Department of Health. An estimated 9,400 cases were reported in Essex County alone, making it the most prevalent area for the disease. Other highly reported areas include Passaic, Union, Mercer and Atlantic counties.
HIV/AIDS can affect every ethnicity, every gender, and every age. Although HIV/AIDS does not discriminate, minorities account for approximately 76% of the New Jersey cases in adults- predominantly among African Americans. Further, 34% of those living with HIV/AIDS are females, and 79% are adults above the age of 40.
Sexual contact and injection drug use are consistently the most common modes of HIV infection transmission. Over the years, the spread of HIV from injection drug use has decreased, whereas the spread from sexual contact has progressively increased.
The 36,648 cases of New Jersey residents living with HIV/AIDS can drastically decrease if more residents get tested. Getting tested is the first step to ultimately stopping the spread. The fastest and most convenient way to get tested is through Rapid HIV testing available at New Jersey’s Rapid Testing Sites, healthcare providers, and emergency providers throughout the state. Most sites offer free testing and deliver the HIV status results within 20-40 minutes of taking the test.
Many committed organizations generously donate to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New Jersey. Determined to make a difference, the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) functions as a co-convening organization and fund manager for the NJ AIDS Partnership – the only charitable organization that is solely committed to ending the HIV/Aids epidemic. As a collaborative effort supported by a variety of stakeholders, the NJ Aids Partnership works with CFNJ to designate and support grantees, coordinate funding and support effective interventions.