A study led by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the U.S. has decreased by one-third over the past decade, offering hope that the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. may be slowing down.
Dr. Amy Lansky, alumna of UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and deputy director for surveillance, epidemiology and lab science in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, is a co-author of the article, “Trends in Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States, 2002-2011”, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
[Photo: Photo: Dr. Amy Lansky]
The study, part of the journal’s special report on HIV research, was released online ahead of the International AIDS Conference, which began July 20 in Melbourne, Australia.
Sixteen of every 100,000 people in the U.S. ages 13 years and older were diagnosed with HIV in 2011, according to data collected from health departments in all 50 states. Those findings reflect a continual drop since 2002, when 24 out of 100,000 people in the U.S. were newly diagnosed with the virus. Rates of diagnosis increased for young gay and bisexual men, but in other groups – men, women, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, heterosexuals and users of injected drugs – the rates of diagnosis declined.
Dr. Lansky said that if the epidemic were spreading across all groups, one might expect higher numbers of people testing as HIV-positive, given increased HIV testing opportunities over the last decade.
She and her colleagues were guardedly optimistic about the ebb in new infections but called for increased study of patterns among men who have sex with men.
Other study co-authors are Ms. Anna Satcher Johnson, Dr. H. Irene Hall and Xiaohong Hu, all from the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, in Atlanta; Dr. David R. Holtgrave, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore; and Dr. Jonathan Mermin, of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, in Atlanta.