Skip to main content

Relias Media has upgraded our site!

Please bear with us as we work through some issues in order to provide you with a better experience.

Thank you for your patience.

All Access Subscription

Get unlimited access to our full publication and article library.

Get Access Now

Interested in Group Sales? Learn more

HICprevent

Hicprevent header 1470747688

This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Is HIV now endemic instead of epidemic?

March 18th, 2015

A snapshot of the American AIDS epidemic, contains a few surprises, like half of those infected identifying as heterosexuals. However, 71% were male, so take the self-reported orientation for what it's worth.

Given all the bitter lessons learned about effective precautions the level of new infections is frustrating, even as a new era of powerful antiviral treatments translates an epidemic death sentence into an endemic chronic disease. Here are some numbers the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gleaned from a survey of 4,217 patients seeking medical care for HIV:

  • 50% identified as heterosexual and 50% as GBLT
  • Three-fourths were > 40 yrs of age; and 54% had been HIV+ for 10 or more years;
  • 44% were living below the poverty line and 9% were homeless;
  • 81% had some kind of health coverage, including Medicaid (40%), Medicare (26%), or private insurance (30.6%)
  • 68% had been diagnosed with AIDS; 87% now had CD4 counts > 200 cell/mL within the previous 6 months;
  • 88% were currently prescribed antiviral therapy; 6% had never been prescribed antivirals and the remainder had been treated but stopped therapy for various reasons.
  • 72% had an undetectable HIV viral load < 200 copies/mL with the previous 6 months;
  • 42% were current smokers;
  • Alcohol use was common; half drank alcohol within the previous 3 months with an average of 3.1 drinks per day;
  • 27% used non-injectable drugs, including marijuana (22%), crack (5%), cocaine (5%); and a much smaller number (2.1%) used injectable drugs;
  • 25% of the female patients had been pregnant at least once since testing HIV+.