New HIV Infections in the United States
Driving Down New HIV Infections: CDC's High-Impact Prevention Approach
Although persisting at far too high a level, HIV incidence has been reduced by more than two-thirds since the height of the U.S. HIV epidemic, and HIV prevention efforts are estimated to have averted more than 350,000 HIV infections in the United States to date.5 Additionally, despite continued increases in the number of people living with HIV over the past decade,6 new HIV infections have not increased, indicating that HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs are effectively reducing the rate of transmission overall. New data indicating a decrease in HIV infections among black women need to be viewed cautiously and substantiated by additional years of data, but raise the hope that intensified education, prevention, and testing activities in this community may be producing meaningful results. At the same time, it is critical to reverse persistent racial disparities in HIV infection and increases in incidence among young men who have sex with men.
To achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation in the United States, renewed energy and bold commitment are needed at all levels to drive down new infections. HIV incidence estimates provide important information about the course of the epidemic, which helps guide HIV prevention efforts. Through High-Impact Prevention, CDC is pursuing a new approach that focuses on implementing the most cost-effective and scalable interventions in the geographic areas and populations most heavily affected by HIV (see www.cdc.gov/hiv/strategy/hihp/report/index.htm). CDC's efforts are focused in five main areas: supporting prevention programs through $415 million in current funding to health departments and community-based organizations; tracking the epidemic through comprehensive national surveillance systems; supporting HIV prevention research to develop new biomedical and behavioral prevention strategies; raising awareness through efforts like the "Act Against AIDS" communications campaign, which works to ensure that all Americans know the facts about HIV, are aware of their HIV status, and understand how to protect themselves; and supporting structural interventions by working with federal agencies and funding states and community organizations to address the structural barriers to HIV prevention.
In addition to CDC's efforts, ongoing and expanded involvement on the part of African American, Latino, gay, and other community leaders is needed to help achieve broader action to stop the spread of HIV. And all individuals can learn the facts about HIV, get tested, and take action to protect themselves and their partners.
** A four-year period (2007-2010) was chosen for this analysis, to maximize the number of HIV surveillance areas contributing data. However, four-year trends can be influenced by short-term changes in data, and should be interpreted within the context of longer-term trends. Because the estimated number of new HIV infections in 2007 was high relative to the preceding and following years, analyses of changes in incidence for this report are limited to comparison of 2008, 2009, and 2010 incidence estimates. Researchers caution that additional annual estimates will be needed to substantiate the short-term trends seen in this report.
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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