CDC: Number living with HIV on steady rise

New cases stable, survivors increasing

From 2003 through 2006, the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting remained stable, with 18.5 cases per 100,000 population, the Centers for Disease for Control recently reported.1 Though the total number of new cases of HIV/AIDS remained stable in the 33 states, HIV/AIDS prevalence (i.e., the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS) increased steadily: By the end of 2006, an estimated 491,727 persons in the 33 states were living with HIV/AIDS.

The CDC report presents estimated numbers of cases of HIV/AIDS (cases of HIV infection, regardless whether they have progressed to AIDS) from the 38 areas (33 states and 5 U.S. dependent areas) that have had confidential name-based HIV infection reporting for a sufficient length of time (i.e., since at least 2003) to allow for stabilization of data collection and for adjustment of the data in order to monitor trends. According to the number of reported AIDS cases, these 33 states represent approximately 63% of the epidemic in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The 2008 surveillance report includes the following the trends and highlights:

Age group: From 2003 through 2006, the estimated number of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases decreased among children (less than 13 years of age) and in the following age groups: 13-14, 30-34, and 35-39 years. The estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases remained stable among persons aged 40-44 years and increased among persons aged 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, and 65 years and older. In 2006, the largest number of HIV/AIDS cases occurred among persons aged 40-44 years, who accounted for 16% of all HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed during that year.

Race/ethnicity: From 2003 through 2006, the estimated number of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases increased among whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders, remained stable among blacks and Hispanics, and fluctuated among American Indians/Alaska Natives. Blacks accounted for 49% of all HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in 2006. In 2006, rates of HIV/AIDS cases were 67.7 per 100,000 in the black population, 25.5 per 100,000 in the Hispanic population, 8.8 per 100,000 in the American Indian/Alaska Native population, 8.2 per 100,000 in the white population, and 6.7 per 100,000 in the Asian/Pacific Islander population.

Sex: From 2003 through 2006, the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases increased approximately 5% among males and decreased 6% among females. In 2006, males accounted for 74% of all HIV/AIDS cases among adults and adolescents. In 2006, rates were 33.8 per 100,000 among males and 11.5 per 100,000 among females.

Transmission category: From 2003 through 2006, the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases increased among men who have sex with men (MSM) and remained stable among adults and adolescents with HIV infection attributed to high-risk heterosexual contact (heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or to be at high risk for, HIV infection). The estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases decreased among injection drug users (IDUs), MSM who were also IDUs, and among children. MSM (49%) and persons exposed through high-risk heterosexual contact (33%) accounted for 82% of all HIV/AIDS cases diagnose in 2006. Of all HIV infections diagnosed in 2005 in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting, 38% progressed to AIDS within 12 months after HIV infection was diagnosed. AIDS was diagnosed within 12 months after the diagnosis of HIV infection for larger proportions of persons aged 13-14 years and 35 years and older, for Hispanics, for IDUs, and for males with HIV infection attributed to high-risk heterosexual contact.

Persons living with HIV/AIDS

From 2003 through 2006, the estimated number of persons living with HIV/AIDS increased steadily in the 33 states. At the end of 2006, an estimated 491,727 persons in these states were living with HIV/AIDS. By age group, most (21%) were aged 40-44 years. By race/ethnicity, 47% were black, 34% white, 17% Hispanic, and less than 1% each were American Indian/Alaska Native or Asian/Pacific Islander. By sex, 73% of adults and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS were male.

Of the estimated 353,825 male adults and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, 62% had been exposed through male-to-male sexual contact, 17% had been exposed through injection drug use, 13% had been exposed through high-risk heterosexual contact, and 7% had been exposed through both male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use. Of the estimated 131,195 female adults and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, 73% had been exposed through high-risk heterosexual contact, and 26% had been exposed through injection drug use. Of the estimated 6,703 children living with HIV/AIDS, 92% had been exposed perinatally.

Reference

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2006. Vol. 18. Atlanta: U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2008: at www.cdc.gov.