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The Scope and Impact of HIV in the United States
Since the height of the epidemic in the mid-1980s, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States has been reduced by more than two-thirds, from roughly 130,000 to 50,000 annually.2 As a result of treatment advances since the late 1990s, the number of people living with HIV (HIV prevalence) has increased dramatically.1 Yet, despite increasing HIV prevalence and more opportunities for HIV transmission, the number of new infections has been relatively stable since the mid-1990s.2
By transmission category, the largest number of new HIV infections currently occurs among men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races and ethnicities, followed by African American heterosexual women. By race/ ethnicity overall, African Americans are the most heavily affected, followed by Latinos.2
HIV touches Americans in every corner of the nation. Because of differences in HIV reporting practices among states, national surveillance data on AIDS cases currently provide the clearest picture of the regional impact of the epidemic.
According to these data, by region, both the number of people diagnosed with AIDS and the rate of AIDS diagnoses (number of diagnoses per 100,000 people) is highest in the South (15,855 diagnoses or 13.7 per 100,000 people). Next highest is the Northeast (6,849; 12.3), followed by the West (5,472; 7.5) and the Midwest (3,876; 5.8).
From 2008 through 2011, rates declined in the Northeast and the South, and remained fairly stable in the Midwest and the West.
HIV remains mainly an urban disease, with the majority of individuals diagnosed with AIDS in 2010 residing in areas with 500,000 or more people. Areas hardest hit (by ranking of AIDS cases per 100,000 people) include Baton Rouge, LA; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA and Baltimore, MD.3
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