HIV in the United States by Geographic Distribution
August 30, 2017
In the United States, HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed across states and regions. Southern states accounted for half of new HIV diagnoses in 2015, while making up 38% of the national population. In all regions of the United States, the majority of people who receive an HIV diagnosis live in urban areas. But in the South, 23% of new HIV diagnoses are in suburban and rural areas, and in the Midwest 20% are suburban or rural -- higher proportions than in the North and West. The South's larger and more geographically dispersed persons living with HIV creates unique challenges for prevention, treatment, and care.
Understanding the places and populations that are most affected by HIV and AIDS allows the federal government to allocate its resources to the geographic areas where they are needed most, while still supporting a basic level of HIV education and prevention for everyone across the country.
There were an estimated 37,600 new HIV infections in the United States in 2014. Southern states accounted for half of them.
HIV Diagnoses, by Race/Ethnicity, Region, and State
The rates (per 100,000 people) of HIV diagnoses in 2015 were 16.8 in the South, 11.6 in the Northeast, 9.8 in the West, and 7.6 in the Midwest.
Lifetime Risk of HIV, by State
Overall, an American has a 1 in 99 chance of being diagnosed with HIV at some point in his or her life. But that lifetime risk is greater for people living in the South than in other regions of the country. The lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis is highest in the District of Columbia, followed by Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware, and Alabama.
Living With HIV, by Region
Southern states account for approximately 45% of all people living with an HIV diagnosis. States reporting the highest rates of people living with HIV are predominantly in the South and the Northeast. At the end of 2014, the overall prevalence rate of people living with diagnosed HIV infection in the United States was 299.5 per 100,000 people. By region, the prevalence rates were 419.5 in the Northeast, 352.5 in the South, 244.2 in the West, and 167.6 in the Midwest.
Knowledge of HIV status and the health of persons living with HIV vary widely across the United States, with Southern states generally behind other regions in some key HIV prevention and care indicators.
AIDS, by Region
New AIDS diagnoses: In 2015, the South accounted for 52% (9,601) of the 18,303 new AIDS diagnoses in the United States, followed by the Northeast (18%, 3,328), the West (17%, 3,096), and the Midwest (12%, 2,278).
In 2015, the rate of new AIDS diagnoses was 7.9 in the South, 5.9 in the Northeast, 4.1 in the West, and 3.4 in the Midwest.
AIDS deaths: Of the 6,721 deaths attributed directly to HIV or AIDS in 2014, 3,570 (53%) were in the South, 1,279 (19%) were in the Northeast, 1,136 (17%) were in the West, and 736 (11%) were in the Midwest.
What CDC Is Doing
Because HIV prevalence and diagnoses are not evenly distributed across populations, CDC is pursuing a high-impact prevention approach to invest prevention resources in the places and populations most affected by HIV and maximize the effectiveness of HIV prevention efforts. For example,
Through its Act Against AIDS initiative, CDC provides effective and culturally appropriate prevention and treatment messages to reduce the HIV risk among the populations and communities most affected by the disease. Through Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) to Act Against AIDS, CDC and organizations representing some of the populations hardest hit by HIV are raising awareness about testing, prevention, and retention in care.
[Note from TheBody.com: This article was created by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who last updated it on Aug. 30, 2017. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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