In a surveillance study released November 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the rate of HIV diagnosis decreased by 5.6% in the general U.S. population from 2008 to 2012, but increased for certain key populations, including adolescents and adults under 30 and men who have sex with men (MSM). African Americans also continued to bear a disproportionate HIV burden.
The 2012 HIV Surveillance Report compiles and analyzes HIV data for the period 2008–2012 collected by local and state health departments from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and six territories. According to the report, a total of 880,440 Americans were living with diagnosed HIV at the end of 2011. However, approximately 18% of Americans living with HIV do not know it, and an estimated 1.1 million are infected.
African Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population, but 47% of all new HIV diagnoses during the time period. Additionally, while the rate of death for persons diagnosed with HIV declined for all races and ethnicities, HIV-positive African Americans had the lowest rate of survival.
The rate of HIV diagnosis also remained disproportionately high among MSM. While they account for approximately 2% of the U.S. population, MSM represented 64% of all new diagnoses. Additionally, young adults ages 20–24 had the highest diagnosis rate (36.3 per 100,000) and, at 17%, accounted for the largest percentage of new diagnoses.
In 2006, the CDC began recommending routine HIV testing for all adults aged 13 to 64, and the percentage of Americans who have ever been tested increased from 37% in 2000 to 45% in 2010. Since 2002, the rate of new diagnosis has declined by over one third.
“HIV surveillance data provide the basis for our understanding of the burden of disease so that resources are targeted in the right populations and are used to guide public health action at every level—national, state, and local,” said Dr. Eugene McCray, director of the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.