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 California Healthline, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The number of annual HIV diagnoses in the U.S. fell by 19% between 2005 and 2014, according to a CDC report released Sunday, the Washington Post‘s “To Your Health” reports.

According to the report, about 40,000 U.S. residents were diagnosed with HIV last year, bringing the total number of U.S. residents currently diagnosed with HIV to about 1.2 million. The report noted that HIV diagnoses decreased by:

  • 63% among people who reported use of injection drugs;
  • 40% among women; and
  • 35% among heterosexual individuals.

Meanwhile, the report found that the number of HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men increased by 6% in 2014. According to the report, such individuals comprise 2% of the total U.S. population, but accounted for nearly 67%, or about 26,612, of all new HIV diagnoses made in 2014.

Of those diagnoses:

  • 10,080 were among black men, up from 8,235 in 2005;
  • 8,207 were among white men, down from 9,966 in 2005; and
  • 6,829 were among Latino men, up from 5,492 in 2005.

The report also found that a disproportionate number of HIV-positive individuals live in the South. According to the report, while individuals living in southern states represent 37% of the total U.S. population, around 44% of people with HIV live in the South.

In addition, the report noted that the share of individuals with HIV who are aware they have the disease is generally the lowest in southern states (Bernstein, “To Your Health,” Washington Post, 12/6).

Jonathan Mermin — director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention — said there was “uneven progress and ongoing severe disparities” in the number of new HIV diagnoses throughout the country. He noted that the South is “years behind the rest of the U.S. in providing key preventive services,” which “manifests itself in different health outcomes” (Seaman, Reuters, 12/6).

Further, Mermin said that although officials “are encouraged by [a] recent slowing of the epidemic among black gay and bisexual men — especially young men — they continue to face a disproportionately high HIV burden” that must be addressed. He also called for increased action “to reduce new infections and to reverse the increases among Latino men” (“To Your Health,” Washington Post, 12/6).

Source: California Healthline, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

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