Longevity of AIDS patients presents new risks: US

June 2, 2011

Thirty years after the AIDS epidemic first surfaced, more people than ever before in the United States -- more than 1.1 million -- are living with HIV, the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday.

The longevity of is widely attributed to the success of which became widespread in the 1990s, but the rise in cases presents new risks for spreading HIV, the CDC said.

"Currently, more than 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV, and as this number increases, so does the risk of ," said CDC chief Thomas Frieden.

"Today, the most infections are among people under 30 -- a new generation that has never known a time without effective HIV treatments and who may not fully understand the significant HIV poses."

The CDC's latest was issued three decades after its June 5, 1981 edition that described unusual cases of pneumonia and Kaposi's sarcoma in five young men in Los Angeles.

"This report later was acknowledged as the first published scientific account of what would become known as (HIV) and (AIDS)," the CDC said.

According to the most recent figures at the end of 2008, a total of 1,178,350 people in the United States were living with HIV, the CDC said.

About 33.3 million people were living with HIV worldwide at the end of 2009.

Since the epidemic first surfaced, nearly 600,000 people have died of AIDS in the United States, the CDC said.

"Over the last three decades, prevention efforts have helped reduce new infections and treatment advances have allowed people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives," said Frieden.

"But as these improvements have taken place, our nation's collective sense of crisis has waned. Far too many Americans underestimate their risk of infection or believe HIV is no longer a serious health threat, but they must understand that HIV remains an incurable infection."

The number of new AIDS cases reported annually peaked in 1992, with 75,457 that year.

Three years later, in 1995, the United States saw its highest number of deaths in a single year from AIDS -- 50,628.

After that, antiretroviral drugs were introduced and fatalities began to fall, leveling out at an average of 38,279 AIDS diagnoses and 17,489 deaths per year from 1999 to 2008, the CDC said.

In the United States, gay men continue to account for the majority of new cases at more than half of all new infections, mainly among whites.

However, African-American men are disproportionately affected by new HIV infections at a rate of six times that of white men and three times more than Hispanic men.

Among women, HIV is 15 times as common among blacks as it is among whites.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists find where HIV 'hides' to evade detection by the immune system

October 19, 2017
In a decades-long game of hide and seek, scientists from Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research have confirmed for the very first time the specific immune memory T-cells where infectious HIV 'hides' in the human ...

National roll-out of PrEP HIV prevention drug would be cost-effective

October 18, 2017
Providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication to men who have sex with men who are at high risk of HIV infection (equivalent to less than 5% of men who have sex with men at any point in time) in England would be cost-effective, ...

Regulatory T cells harbor HIV/SIV virus during antiviral drug treatment

October 17, 2017
Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have identified an additional part of the HIV reservoir, immune cells that survive and harbor the virus despite long-term treatment with antiviral drugs.

New research opens the door to 'functional cure' for HIV

October 17, 2017
In findings that open the door to a completely different approach to curing HIV infections, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have for the first time shown that a novel compound effectively ...

Researchers create molecule that could 'kick and kill' HIV

October 5, 2017
Current anti-AIDS drugs are highly effective at making HIV undetectable and allowing people with the virus to live longer, healthier lives. The treatments, a class of medications called antiretroviral therapy, also greatly ...

A sixth of new HIV patients in Europe 50 or older: study

September 27, 2017
People aged 50 and older comprise a growing percentage of HIV patients in Europe, accounting for one in six new cases in 2015, researchers said Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.