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HIV in the US: Diagnoses, Incidence and Prevalence Reports

Monday, May 11, 2020


A March 7, 2020 CDC Dear Colleague letter provides a nice summary of data from two surveillance reports on HIV in the U.S. including reporting changes and where cases increases and decreases are occurring. Our advice? Start there before digging in to the reports:


The Terminology

Diagnosis? Incidence? Prevalence? Here's a tidy summary from page 4 of Estimated HIV Incidence and Prevalence in the United States 2014–2018

"Incidence measures the number of infections during a specified time (e.g., year). These estimates can be used to assess changes in characteristics of persons most at risk for acquiring HIV infection. Diagnoses refer to persons who may have been infected years before diagnosis. Prevalence refers to the number of persons living with HIV disease at a given time regardless of the time of infection or whether the person has received a diagnosis. Prevalence and the percentage of diagnosed infections among persons living with HIV reflect the number of persons in need of care and treatment services for HIV infection."

See also Terms, Definitions, and Calculations Used in CDC HIV Surveillance Publications



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