30 Years With a Killer: AIDS Has Been Tamed, but Not Conquered
June 9, 2011
Thirty years after CDC's first report on the condition that would become known as AIDS, 30 million people around the world have died of the disease, and 33.3 million more are living with HIV. US statistics acknowledge more than 594,000 AIDS fatalities, while 1.1 million people live with HIV/AIDS.
Worldwide, 7,000 people contract HIV daily, yet complacency regarding prevention is prevalent. Dr. Richard Wolitski, deputy director for behavioral and social science in CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, noted that youths today "have never known a time without effective HIV treatment," so to them the disease's threat "seems remote" even though it "is still very real."
Jeffrey Crowley, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, said data for specific high-risk groups and regions indicate "a series of concentrated epidemics." Because one-fifth of the infected US population are unaware of their HIV status, one-third of new infections are not detected until less than one year before the patient progresses to AIDS. Washington's 3 percent infection rate rivals that of some developing countries. African Americans comprise half of both new infections and those living with HIV/AIDS. Wolitski said men who have sex with men comprise half of new US infections.
Yet researchers continue to make progress. "We have scientific evidence that a safe and effective HIV vaccine is possible," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
St. Paul Pioneer Press
06.04.2011; Tony Pugh
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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