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Rate Of US HIV Diagnosis Determined

Update Date: Jul 21, 2014 08:12 AM EDT
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The annual HIV diagnosis rate in the U.S. has decreased more than 30 percent from 2002-2011, according to a new study. The declines have been observed in several key populations while increment were also found among certain age groups of men who have sex with men.

"There has been increasing emphasis on care and treatment for persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States during the past decade, including the use of antiretroviral therapy for increasing survival and decreasing transmission. Accurate HIV diagnosis data recently became available for all states, allowing for the first time an examination of long-term national trends. These data can be used to monitor awareness of serostatus among persons living with HIV, primary prevention efforts, and testing initiatives," according to background information in the article, mentioned in the press release.

For the study, researchers examined trends in HIV diagnoses from 2002-2011 among person ages 13 years or older in the United States through data from the National HIV Surveillance System of the CDC.

According to the study, the annual diagnosis rate decreased by 33.2 percent from 24.1 per 100,000 population in 2002 to 16.1 in 2011.

The study also found that changes were not evident for Asians or Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders.

"The HIV testing services were expanded during the analysis period and early outcomes of testing initiatives often indicate increases in diagnoses until some level of testing saturation occurs. Our study found overall decreases in annual diagnosis rates despite the implementation of testing initiatives during the period of analysis," the study noted.

"Among men who have sex with men, unprotected risk behaviors in the presence of high prevalence and unsuppressed viral load may continue to drive HIV transmission. Disparities in rates of HIV among young men who have sex with men present prevention challenges and warrant expanded efforts.

The study will be published in the July 20/30 issue of JAMA.

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