U.S. News

Longevity of AIDS Patients Presents New Risks: U.S.

June 3, 2011

CDC is marking the 30th anniversary of AIDS this week by calling on Americans to recommit themselves to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment efforts.

"Over the last three decades, prevention efforts have helped reduce new infections and treatment advances have allowed people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. "But as these improvements have taken place, our nation's collective sense of crisis has waned. Far too many Americans underestimate their risk of infection or believe HIV is no longer a serious health threat, but they must understand that HIV remains an incurable infection."

"Currently, more than 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV, and as this number increases, so does the risk of transmission," Frieden said.

The agency released updated data Thursday showing that 20 percent of teenagers and adults with HIV are unaware of their infection. Approximately 1,819 of every 100,000 African Americans have HIV, 593 of Hispanics or Latinos and 238 of whites. The rate of new HIV infection for black men is six times that of white men, and about three times that of Hispanic men. Black women are 15 times more likely to have HIV compared to their white peers, and almost four times more likely than Hispanic women. Among Hispanics, the rate of new infections among men is more than double that of white men, and the rate among Latinas is almost four times that of white women.

Men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately impacted by the disease, accounting for nearly 50 percent of people living with HIV.

"Today, the most infections are among people under 30, a new generation that has never known a time without effective HIV treatments and who may not fully understand the significant health threat HIV poses," Frieden noted.

To view CDC's media statement, visit The update, "HIV Surveillance -- United States, 1981-2008," was published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2011;60(21):689-693).

Back to other news for June 2011

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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