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HIV Infections Increasing Among Young Gay & Bisexual Men Despite Overall National Decrease

FEB 18, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is showing that annual HIV infections in the United States dropped from 45,700 in 2008, to 37,600 in 2014; an 18% decrease. The report was recently presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, Washington. Despite this progress, the CDC found that the decrease “was not the same among all populations or areas of the country.” Among 35 states and Washington, DC, annual infections of HIV either decreased or remained stable.
 
This recent analysis also showed a decrease in infections from 2008 to 2014 among different transmission routes (see Graphic):
 
Estimated New HIV Infections in the United States by Transmission Route

 
 
The researchers believed that efforts towards helping individuals know their status, as well as ensuring that they are virally suppressed through the use of early treatment with antiretrovirals led to the decline in annual HIV infections. The availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) may have also led to this decline.
 
Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention was quoted in a press release as saying, “The nation’s new high-impact approach to HIV prevention is working. We have the tools, and we are using them to bring us closer to a future free of HIV. These data reflect the success of collective prevention and treatment efforts at national, state and local levels. We must ensure the interventions that work reach those who need them most.”
 
Eugene McCray, MD, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention added to this, stating, “Maximizing the power of these new prevention tools in conjunction with testing and education efforts, offers the hope of ending the HIV epidemic in this nation. Science has shown us the power of HIV treatment medicines in benefitting people with and without HIV.”
 


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