Last week, AIDSVu released new interactive, online maps illustrating the impact of HIV across the United States, and revealing that two-thirds of all new HIV diagnoses occur in just three percent of U.S. counties. Using the latest publicly available data at the city, state, and county levels, the new maps visualize disparities in HIV infections and mortality, both geographically and among different demographics.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the first AIDS diagnosis in the U.S., and while we have made significant progress, data from recent years has shown that HIV still disproportionately impacts some regions and groups – particularly the South, and among youth and African Americans – underscoring the need for continued work:
- Southern States Experiencing Greatest Burden of Infection and Deaths: The Southern U.S. is home to nearly 37 percent of the country’s population, but these states account for half of all new HIV diagnoses (50 percent) and deaths among persons diagnosed with HIV (47 percent). In 2014, eight of the ten states with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses (Washington, D.C., Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina) and the top five cities with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses were in the South (Miami, FL; Baton Rouge, LA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; New Orleans, LA; and Jackson, MS).
- HIV Diagnoses Among Youth Rising: In 2014, young persons between ages 13 and 24 accounted for almost one quarter (22 percent) of all new HIV diagnoses. While the number of new HIV diagnoses among all persons in the U.S. decreased by 11 percent between 2008 and 2014, new HIV diagnoses among youth increased by nearly 11 percent. In that same time period, new HIV diagnoses among young men who have sex with men, aged 13 to 24, increased by nearly 30 percent (27 percent), and in 2014, accounted for 18 percent of all new HIV diagnoses.
- African Americans Are Most Impacted: While making up just 12 percent of the U.S. population, black or African American persons accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2014. The impact is particularly apparent in the South where black or African American persons make up more than half (54 percent) of this region’s new HIV diagnoses in 2014. In 2013, nearly half (46 percent) of all deaths that occurred among people diagnosed with HIV were black or African American persons, compared to white persons (30 percent), and Hispanic/Latino persons (19 percent).
- Late HIV Diagnoses Show Continued Need for Testing: Of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV, one in eight do not know they are infected. In 2013, nearly one quarter of all persons newly diagnosed with HIV were considered late diagnoses, meaning individuals were diagnosed after the disease had already progressed to AIDS. These statistics emphasize the need for increased testing and highlight the importance of aligning resources to the areas that need it most.
“AIDSVu’s data visualizations show us that HIV impacts every corner of the United States, and help us understand the geographic trends of the HIV epidemic. Looking back 35 years ago, the first HIV cases were reported in coastal cities, while HIV now disproportionately impacts Southern states. The new AIDSVu maps released today highlight how the epidemic has changed in recent years, and show how new diagnoses have grown among young people, especially young gay men of color,” said Patrick Sullivan, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and principal researcher for AIDSVu. “The maps on AIDSVu allow for the most in-depth look at the HIV epidemic in the U.S. and enable people working in HIV research, prevention, and care to turn big data into action on the ground. Seeing where changes in the epidemic are happening helps people at the federal, state, and local levels to most effectively deploy resources to stop the spread of HIV.”
AIDSVu is a project of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. Now in its sixth year, AIDSVu is continually expanding the data and resources available to give researchers, policymakers, and others working in HIV the most comprehensive understanding of the epidemic.
Major data updates for 2016 include:
- Updated state- and county-level data showing HIV prevalence (2013), and new HIV diagnoses (year-over-year for 2008 to 2014).
- New county-level data for North Dakota, bringing AIDSVu to a total of 48 U.S. states mapped at the county level.
- ZIP code-level maps showing HIV prevalence for six new cities for a total of 40 U.S. cities representing more than 60 percent of the U.S. HIV epidemic (2013). New cities include: Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Hartford, CT; Las Vegas, NV; Nashville, TN; and Raleigh, NC.
- ZIP code-level new HIV diagnoses data (cumulative 2010 to 2014) for 37 of the 40 cities on AIDSVu.
- Transmission category data for state-level new HIV diagnoses (year-over-year for 2008 to 2014).
- Multi-way data stratification at state level, giving users a more detailed view of the epidemic by allowing them to select up to two demographic filters at the same time (e.g., age, race, sex, transmission category).
- Mortality data (2013) at the state level, showing rates and number of deaths that occurred among people with diagnosed HIV.
AIDSVu is also introducing several resource updates, including:
- Enhanced city profile pages for 36 U.S. cities, updated to include new HIV diagnoses data.
- HIV maps alongside social determinants of health – such as poverty, high school education, median household income, income inequality, and people without health insurance.
- HIV testing and care service locator maps, including housing opportunities for persons with AIDS, and HIV-funded HIV prevention, vaccine, and treatment trials locations, all viewable on AIDSVu’s interactive maps.
- New map print functionality allowing users to print custom map views for usage in grants, presentations, manuscripts and materials.
State- and county-level data displayed on AIDSVu were obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and compiled by researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health. ZIP code, census tract, and neighborhood data were provided by the state and city health departments, depending on the entity responsible for HIV surveillance.
AIDSVu was developed by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. The project is guided by an Advisory Committee, a Prevention and Treatment Advisory Committee, and a Technical Advisory Group with representatives from federal agencies, state health departments and non-governmental organizations working in HIV prevention, care and research.
About the Rollins School of Public Health
The Rollins School of Public Health is part of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The school houses six academic departments, 20 multidisciplinary centers – including an NIH-supported Center for AIDS Research – and more than 160 full-time doctoral-level faculty members.