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US on course to end its HIV epidemic – eventually
Gus Cairns, 2016-05-09 09:50:00

If current trends continue, the US may eventually end its HIV epidemic, a mathematical model recently published in AIDS & Behaviour shows. In 2009, the average number of people each person with HIV would infect during their lifetime fell below one, and has now declined to 0.75, the model shows. This means the number of people with HIV will eventually start to shrink, as more in the ageing HIV positive population start to die than get infected. For the moment, however, since mortality in people with HIV also continues to fall, the number of people with the virus in the US continues to grow slowly.

The reductions in new HIV infections and in the proportion of people with HIV who transmit each year are significant, but are only about half of the targets the US government set in 2010 when it published its National HIV/AIDS strategy. The writers of the paper comment that more funding for prevention services is necessary, alongside sustained funding for treatment, if the US is to meet its HIV reduction targets and achieve a quicker end to HIV as a significant epidemic.