CDC: HIV/AIDS Statistics Up in America
Blacks, Hispanics, Teens, Online Cruisers at Greatest Risk
Women continue to be a high-risk group:
- Seventy-three percent of African-American women do not believe they are at risk for HIV, although more than half had a history of other STDs.
- One-fifth or more pregnant women are still not being tested for HIV, despite the recommendation that testing be part of prenatal care.
- Forty percent of American women of childbearing age are not aware of methods to protect newborns from HIV.
- Foreign-born women are more than twice as likely to refuse HIV testing as women born in the U.S.
However, there are promising trends:
- The number of women tested in New York state rose dramatically in 2002 from 64% to 94%.
- Rapid testing can provide accurate results in less than an hour for women whose HIV status is unknown when they enter labor. This allows the doctor to introduce treatment to the newborn before transmission.
New research indicates the Internet is a new environment for unsafe sex.
- Among gay men, the numbers who met partners online are increasing.
- More than three-quarters of gay men who meet partners online are likely to report high-risk sex with those partners. Thirty-nine percent reported having unprotected anal sex with those partners.
Partners of HIV-infected persons need better counseling, says Valdisseri.
- HIV-positive patients are often not counseled on ways to prevent transmission to their partners. Among those surveyed following a clinic visit, one-quarter said they had received general prevention information during the visit, and only 6% said specific sex activities had been discussed with them.
- Even a one-day training session could help HIV treatment providers talk with their patients about reducing risk behavior. Those who took part in the session said they felt more comfortable discussing high-risk behavior, including needle sharing and sexual behavior, with their patients.
The new statistics will be used to better target HIV/AIDS education efforts, says Valdiserri.
SOURCE: CDC telebriefing, July 25, 2003. News release, CDC.