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NHPC 2015: New HIV Cases Decline, but Population and Geographic Disparities Persist

December 11, 2015

Eugene McCray (Photo: Liz Highleyman)

Eugene McCray (Photo: Liz Highleyman)

HIV diagnoses have declined by nearly 20% overall during the past decade, but progress has been uneven across demographic groups, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reported at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference taking place this week in Atlanta. One encouraging finding was a leveling off of newly diagnosed infections among black gay and bisexual men in recent years, following a steady rise. The CDC also reported disappointing new data on geographical disparities, showing that death rates among people with HIV are 3 times higher in southern states.

"It is the best of times and the worst of times [in HIV], with some success and some major disparities," said Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, who opened the conference on Sunday and gave a Monday plenary address on the CDC's high-impact HIV prevention initiative, which aims to focus resources on the most effective interventions and the most heavily affected groups.

"All interventions are not effective, and all effective interventions are not equal," Mermin added. "Limited resources demand choices. Targeted PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis] and syringe distribution are cost-effective and cost-saving ... The biggest impact will come from getting [people living with HIV] diagnosed and into care."

This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of Read the full article.

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