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CDC releases new data on HIV diagnosis and prevalence in the United States
Liz Highleyman, 2016-11-30 17:00:00

In advance of World AIDS Day the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest report on recently diagnosed HIV infections in the United States. The new HIV Surveillance Report, which covers data through 2015, shows that HIV diagnoses have decreased among both women and men, and among African Americans, Latinos and whites, but have risen among young people age 25-29. As people with HIV live longer thanks to effective antiretroviral treatment, HIV prevalence has reached an all-time high of more than 955,000 people.

CDC's HIV Surveillance Report, which has been published since 1982, includes detailed information about diagnosed HIV infection in the US. This year's edition uses a new approach - made possible by improvements in surveillance methods and data sources - that will no longer involve statistical adjustment to account for delays in reporting.

"Our nation’s HIV surveillance systems have advanced a long way since the early days of the epidemic, both in terms of how data is collected and how it is analysed and reported. Today, most states report complete information on HIV cases to CDC - including the person’s age, race/ethnicity, risk factors and even their HIV viral load at the time they are diagnosed," explained Eugene McCray, director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. "Removing duplicate cases takes much less time than it used to, and new technology means we can process large quantities of data much more quickly."

While the new report includes 2015 data, assessments of trends are based on HIV diagnoses and deaths from 2010 through 2014. The CDC cautioned that data for 2015 are considered preliminary, based on only a six-month reporting delay, and may not include all recently diagnosed cases. Although the 2015 data are not included in the trends, they do provide minimum estimates of the number of new diagnoses and a preliminary 'snapshot' of how they're distributed across different groups.