More Than 1 Million Americans Living With HIV
HIV Epidemic Hitting Blacks, Men Hardest
June 14, 2005 -- More than 1 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV
at the close of 2003, according to the latest CDC data on the virus that causes
Researchers presented the report at the 2005 National HIV Prevention
Conference in Atlanta this week and say the findings are both good and bad.
The good news is that more people are living with HIV thanks to HIV-fighting
drugs. But the bad news is that the frequency of the disease remains extremely
high, especially among blacks and men who have sex with men.
The report shows that nearly three-quarters of the Americans living with HIV
at the end of 2003 were men, and blacks represented nearly half (47%) of all
HIV-positive Americans. Whites accounted for 34% and Hispanics for 17%.
HIV/AIDS in America
Overall, CDC researchers estimate that between 1,039,000 and 1,185,000
people in the U.S. were living with HIV in December 2003. Of those, they
estimate about a quarter are unaware that they are infected with HIV.
Other findings of the report include:
- Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by HIV,
accounting for 45% of people living with HIV.
- Individuals infected through high-risk heterosexual contact, such as
unprotected sex, accounted for 27% of Americans with HIV.
- People infected with HIV through injection drug use accounted for 22%.
Researchers say the makeup of the HIV-positive population in the U.S. may
shift in the coming years as the number of blacks, females, and people infected
with HIV through heterosexual contact now account for a higher proportion of
new HIV infections than those currently living with AIDS.
In addition, researchers say that although the number of adolescent and
young women diagnosed with HIV has declined in recent years, the number of
black men diagnosed with HIV has increased.
The last report, released in 2002, estimated that between 850,000 and
950,000 people were HIV-positive at the end of 2000 but did not contain
breakdowns by racial or ethnic groups.