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U.S. News

California: HIV Continues Retreat in San Francisco

March 29, 2011

Between 2001 and 2011, new HIV infections declined steadily in San Francisco, from an estimated more than 1,000 annually to 736, according to the latest HIV Consensus Estimates. The current "plausibility bounds" range is 534-977 new infections annually, due to statistical uncertainty, according to researchers at the city Department of Public Health (DPH) Epidemiology Section.

San Francisco's HIV incidence rate is now 0.09 percent, a decline of 30.8 percent since 2006 and a 24.6 percent drop in the number of cases over the last five years.

"We can't conclusively make the case that HIV rates are declining," said Dr. Grant Colfax, DPH's director of HIV prevention. "We are still in an endemic state at this point. There is still much work yet to go."

This year in San Francisco, an estimated 585 men who have sex with men, most in their 30s, will become HIV-positive. An additional 49 injection drug-using MSM will contract HIV this year. The HIV incidence rate among non-IDU MSM is 1.27 percent, based on a population of 59,809. Prevalence among non-IDU MSM is an estimated 22.7 percent.

Health authorities suggest some HIV-positive men are serosorting, or seeking HIV-positive sexual partners. DPH policy also encourages treating HIV early, which can reduce viral loads and HIV transmission. Researchers are studying the early-treatment policy to verify a link. "We are seeing a lot of benefits from that," said H. Fisher Raymond, DPH's director of bio-behavioral surveillance in the HIV Epidemiology Section.

Reverse migration may be another factor in play, as older HIV patients retire to other locales. "I do think there is an exodus of older people," Raymond said. "That is why Sonoma is asking why their HIV prevalence among MSM is rising."

Back to other news for March 2011

Adapted from:
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
03.24.2011; Matthew S. Bajko

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More HIV Statistics on Western U.S. States

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