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California: Uneven Gains in HIV/AIDS in Different Populations

November 13, 2013

This article was reported by (San Francisco).

The San Francisco Gate recently reported that the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health research organization, published a US AIDS analysis based on 2010 data. According to the report, blacks, Latinos, and Hispanics had higher HIV incidence than whites and were less likely to receive recommended treatment. The foundation stated that HIV incidence was eight times higher among blacks than among whites, and three times higher among Latinos and Hispanics than among whites. Twenty percent of new HIV infections in 2010 occurred among women; approximately two-thirds of female HIV infections occurred among black women.

The foundation reported that approximately 25 years ago, AIDS was the number one mortality cause for Americans ages 25-44. With new treatment options, AIDS had dropped to the number six mortality cause among this same age group, and new diagnoses had decreased to less than half of peak rates.

The report stated that 82 percent of HIV-infected Americans had received a formal HIV diagnosis, but only one in four HIV-infected people adhered closely enough to recommended treatment regimens to suppress the virus. Viral suppression requires HIV-infected patients to take multiple pills at precise times daily and receive regular medical care.

The first US AIDS diagnosis occurred in 1981, and the number of HIV diagnoses reached 130,000 annually in the late 1980s. US incidence rates have remained stable at approximately 50,000 per year for the last decade. The foundation estimated that in 2010, 63 percent of new infections resulted from male-to-male sexual contact, and 25 percent resulted from heterosexual contact.

California had more HIV diagnoses in 2010 than any other state (5,965), but was not among the 10 states with highest incidence per 100,000 people. Washington, D.C., had the highest HIV rate (177.9 per 100,000 people), and southern states held seven spots on the list of top 10 states.

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