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About HIV/AIDS & Substance Abuse in Miami-Dade County

HIV/AIDS Approximately 40,000 to 54,000 Americans become infected with HIV annually and despite continuing efforts to provide enhanced education and prevention programs, every 9 minutes someone in the United States is infected with the HIV virus. Miami-Dade County has been severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which has had a disproportional impact on the county's minority groups. Miami-Dade also reports the highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the United Stated. The following statistics illustrate the impact HIV on Miami-Dade's youngest residents:

  • Approximately 1 in 4 (27%) newly HIV-infected individuals is between the ages of 13 and 29
  • 93% of newly HIV-infected adolescents/young adults are members of a racial/ethnic minority
  • 75% of newly HIV-infected adolescents/young adults are gay males
  • According to a recent CDC study, 72% of African American and 44% of Hispanic gay males who tested positive for HIV in Miami were unaware of their infection

Substance Abuse Illicit drugs and alcohol are reportedly readily available and easy to obtain in Miami-Dade County and alcohol/drug users are at risk for HIV through both drug-related and sexual behaviors. In addition, alcohol and drug use contributes substantially to motor vehicle crashes, other traumatic injuries, suicide, delinquent behavior, date rape, and family and school problems. The following statistics illustrate the extent of alcohol/drug abuse use among Miami-Dade County's young adults:

  • 30% of young adults report binge-drinking in the past 30 days
  • 16% of young adults report drug use in the past 30 days
  • 14% of young adults report alcohol and/or drug abuse in the past year
  • Alcohol and marijuana are the primary abused substances self-reported by young adults in Miami Dade County
  • Other drugs presenting major problems for the young adult population are pain relievers, MDMA or ecstasy, and benzodiazepines