March 12, 2013
CDC has released alarming numbers showing that a majority of Philadelphias new HIV cases already have full-blown AIDS at the time of diagnosis. Numbers from CDC's HIV Surveillance Report -- released every three years, with the most recent report released in 2011 -- indicate that Philadelphia has 12,000 people living with AIDS and is ranked 24th among metropolitan areas for new AIDS diagnoses.
Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS, declared that, "Just under a thousand Philadelphians were newly diagnosed. Those numbers are unacceptably high." He noted that 75 percent of the new cases were diagnosed at Stage 3 AIDS and stated, "It means they have full blown AIDS when they find out that theyre sick, which is way too late in terms of the disease progression."
Burns stated that a late diagnosis signifies that a patients immune system is seriously compromised and asserted that early testing is key to maintaining a patients health and limiting the diseases spread. He noted the stigma associated with testing, and recommended that routine HIV/AIDS testing for everyone would de-stigmatize testing.