Last updated: May 08, 2008

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one million Americans are currently infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although its prevalence is higher in certain cities, among African Americans, and among men who have sex with other men, anyone can get HIV. And Americans continue to become infected at high rates partly because of the widespread belief that you won't get it if you're heterosexual, white, or educated.

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Here are six reasons to use a condom every time you have sex.
  1. HIV is incurable.
  2. It is fatal when not treated.
  3. The medications to keep it under control have notoriously difficult side effects.
  4. Condoms, when used correctly, are highly effective at blocking HIV transmission.
  5. Most symptoms of HIV infection are invisible.
  6. It is believed that one out of every four Americans living with HIV doesn't know he or she has it.
For more information about preventing HIV and living with it if you're infected, visit