Approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today. About 15 percent of them (1 in 7) are unaware they are infected.
An estimated 38,700 Americans became newly infected with HIV in 2016.
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men bear the greatest burden by risk group, representing an estimated 26,000 of new HIV infections per year.
- In 2017, 38,739 people received an HIV diagnosis in the U.S. and 6 dependent areas
- The annual number of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. remained stable from 2012 to 2016.
- HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed across states and regions. Of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S in 2017, 19,968 (52%) were in the South.
Estimated New HIV Infections
New HIV infections (“HIV incidence”) refers to the estimated number of people who are newly infected with HIV during a year, which is different from the number of people diagnosed with HIV during a year. (Some people may have HIV but not know it.)
According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Approximately 38,700 people became newly infected with HIV in the United States in 2016. After about 5 years of substantial declines, the number of annual HIV infections began to level off in 2013, to about 39,000 infections per year.
CDC estimates that the decline in HIV infections has plateaued because effective HIV prevention and treatment are not adequately reaching those who could most benefit from them. These gaps remain particularly troublesome in rural areas and in the South and among disproportionately affected populations like blacks/African Americansa and Hispanics/Latinosb.
By age group, between 2010-2016, the annual number of HIV infections decreased among persons aged 13–24 and 45–54 but increased among persons aged 25–34. The number of infections remained stable among persons aged 33-44 and ≥55 years.
By race/ethnicity, between 2010-2016, the annual number of HIV infections decreased among blacks/African Americans, whites, and persons of multiple races and remained stable for Asians and Hispanics/Latinos.
By sex, between 2010-2016, the annual number of new HIV infections decreased among females but remained stable among males.
By HIV transmission category, between 2010-2016, the annual number of HIV infections decreased among male and female adults and adolescents with infection attributed to injection drug use, and among females with infection attributed to heterosexual contact. The annual number of infections remained stable overall among males with infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, among males with infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use, and among males and females with infection attributed to injection drug use. However, there were differences by race/ethnicity and transmission group.
New HIV Infections by Race and Transmission Group, U.S. 2010 vs. 2016**:**
HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who have received an HIV diagnosis during a year, regardless of when they were infected. (Some people can live with HIV for years before they are diagnosed; others are diagnosed soon after infection.)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
In 2017, 38,739 people received an HIV diagnosis in the U.S. The annual number of new HIV diagnoses remained stable between 2012 and 2016 in the U.S. and dependent areas.c However, annual new diagnoses have increased among some groups.
HIV Diagnoses in the U.S. and Dependent Areas, 2012–2016
Gay and bisexual mend are the population most affected by HIV. In 2017:
- Gay and bisexual men accounted for 66% (25,748) of all HIV diagnoses and 82% of HIV diagnoses among males.e
- Black/African American gay and bisexual men accounted for the largest number of HIV diagnoses (9,807), followed by Hispanic/Latinos (7,436) and whites (6,982).
Among all gay and bisexual men, HIV diagnoses remained stable from 2012 to 2016, but trends varied by race/ethnicity:
- HIV diagnoses among white gay and bisexual men decreased 14%.
- HIV diagnoses among African American gay and bisexual men remained stable.
- HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latino gay and bisexual men increased 12%.
Heterosexuals and people who inject drugs also continue to be affected by HIV. In 2017:
- Heterosexuals accounted for 24% of HIV diagnoses.f
- Heterosexual men accounted for 7% (2,829) of HIV diagnoses.
- Heterosexual women accounted for 16% (6,341) of HIV diagnoses.
- People who inject drugs accounted for 6% of HIV diagnoses.
From 2012 to 2016:
- HIV diagnoses among heterosexual women decreased 8%.
- HIV diagnoses among heterosexual men decreased 9%.
- HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs decreased 17%
By race/ethnicity, African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2017:
- African Americans accounted for 43% (16,694) of HIV diagnoses and 13% of the population.
- Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 26% (9,908) of HIV diagnoses and 18% of the population.
From 2012 to 2016:
- HIV diagnoses among African Americans decreased 5%.
- HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos remained stable.
- HIV diagnoses among whites decreased 8%.
New HIV Diagnoses in the U.S. and Dependent Areas for the Most-Affected Subpopulations, 2017:
In the U.S., HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed across states and regions.g In 2017, the South accounted for more than half (52%) of the new HIV diagnoses in the U.S., followed by the West (19%), the Northeast (16%), and the Midwest (13%). U.S. dependent areas made up 1% of new HIV diagnoses. Most infections are now highly concentrated in certain geographic hotspots. More than 50 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2016 and 2017 occurred in 48 counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Living with HIV
In all 50 states and the District of Columbia:
- An estimated 1,122,900 adults and adolescents were living with HIV in the U.S. at the end of 2015.
- Of those, about 14% (or 1 in 7) had not received a diagnosis, so were unaware of their infection.
- Young people were the most likely to be unaware of their infection. In 2015, among people aged 13-24 who were living with HIV, an estimated 51% didn't know.
- In 2015, among all adults and adolescents living with HIV (diagnosed and undiagnosed),
- 63% received some HIV medical care,
- 49% were retained in continuous HIV care, and
- 51% had achieved viral suppression (having a very low level of the virus). A suppressed viral load protects the health of a person living with HIV, preventing disease progression. There is also a major prevention benefit. A person living with HIV who takes HIV medicine as daily prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.
AIDS Diagnoses and Deaths
In 2017, 17,803 people in the U.S. and 6 dependent areas received a stage 3 (AIDS) diagnosis.
In 2016, there were 15,807 deaths among people with diagnosed HIV in the United States. Nearly half (47%) of these deaths were in the South; 3,630 (23%) were in the Northeast; 2,604 (16%) were in the West; 1,720 (11%) were in the Midwest; and 379 (2%) were in the U.S. dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause.
The 'Ending the HIV Epidemic' Initiative
Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, announced by the President in his State of the Union address on February 5, 2019, is a bold approach to eliminate new HIV infections in our nation. It is built upon the following key strategies:
- Diagnosing all individuals with HIV as early as possible after infection.
- Treating HIV rapidly and effectively after diagnosis to achieve sustained viral suppression.
- Protecting individuals at risk for HIV using proven prevention approaches.
- Responding rapidly to detect and respond to growing HIV clusters and prevent new infections.
The proposed initiative is designed to rapidly increase use of these strategies in the 48 counties with the highest HIV burden, as well as in Washington, D.C.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and seven states with a disproportionate rural HIV burden. The goal is to reduce new HIV infections by 90 percent over 10 years.
a Referred to as African American in this fact sheet.
b Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
c Unless otherwise noted, the term United States (U.S.) includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 6 dependent areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
d These numbers include only diagnoses attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, not those attributed to injection drug use and male-to-male sexual contact.
e This does not include gay and bisexual men who reported injection drug use. CDC's HIV surveillance fact sheet provides more information about how CDC classifies the transmission category for HIV cases.
f This does not include heterosexuals who reported injection drug use.
g This page uses the regions defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and used in CDC's National HIV Surveillance System:
Northeast: CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Midwest: IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI
South: AL, AR, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
West: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY.
CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas, 2016. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2018;23(4).
CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2010–2016. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(No. 1)
CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.
CDC. Deaths: Final Data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Reports 2016;65(4).
[Note from TheBody: This article was originally published by HIV.gov on March 13, 2019.]