November 7, 2014
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its 2012 HIV Surveillance Report. This report presents data from the National HIV Surveillance System on diagnoses of HIV infection during 2008-2012 and persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2011 for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 6 territories. Overall, HIV rates continue to show encouraging declines yet disparities persist among some groups.
This report shows that the annual rate of diagnosis decreased 5.6 percent from 16.2 per 100,000 in 2008 to 15.3 in 2012 which is consistent with a recent study on trends in HIV diagnoses in the United States from 2002-2011 published earlier this year in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
However, as evidenced by this report and other previously released data, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); young adults; and racial and ethnic minorities continue to bear a disproportionate burden of HIV:
At the end of 2011, there were an estimated 880,440 persons in the United States living with diagnosed HIV. For all persons living with HIV, it is important to ensure everyone is fully engaged in the HIV care continuum including getting linked to HIV medical care, remaining in care, receiving treatment, and achieving viral suppression.
As the capacity and the need for monitoring the burden of HIV disease has evolved, so has the National HIV Surveillance System. The 2012 HIV Surveillance Report marks the first use of national data sets generated using updated methods for processing data transmitted to CDC by state and local HIV health department surveillance programs. Implementation of this updated data processing has improved overall data quality, and completeness. Please review the commentary section (page 5) of the report for a more in-depth discussion of these updates.
Surveillance is the foundation of the nation's HIV prevention efforts and it is critical that we continuously improve our surveillance methods to monitor the nation's progress of reducing HIV. 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.
We trust the information from the surveillance report will be useful to you as we continue to work together to reduce the burden of HIV infection in the United States. Thank you for your continued commitment to HIV prevention.
The 2012 HIV Surveillance Report is also posted on the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention's website.
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