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Trends in U.S. HIV Diagnoses: Select Incremental Improvements

Thursday, December 5, 2019


A recent CDC surveillance report on time trends in HIV infection cases in the U.S. shows fewer HIV infections among most groups but increases or no changes among others, across the time span 2013-2018. To perhaps oversimplify the findings: progress is being made but is slow and uneven. 

Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2018 (Preliminary) presents nearly 45 tables. Trend increases or decreases, characterized as such if changes are of a 5% magnitude over the time period (in this report, 2013-2018), are summarized in Table 1a and include these highlights:

  • Overall - No substantial change in the overall rate (per 100,000): 11.4 in 2018 (39,414 cases) versus 12.5 in 2013 (37,377). 
  • Age - Decreases in rates for most age categories, except for slight increases across almost all of the age categories for those under age 34.
  • Race/Ethnicity - Rate decreases for American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders and stable rates for Asians and Hispanics/Latinos. The highest rates, well above other racial/ethnic categories, continue to be among blacks/African Americans (39.3 in 2018, down from 43.6 in 2013).
  • Transmission Categories - Rate decreases for male-to-male sexual contact/injection drug use and heterosexual contact for both males and females. Rates were stable for two groups: male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use (for both males and females). Overall, in 2018, 70% of cases were attributable to male-to-male sexual contact and 24% to heterosexual contact.
  • Geography: Rates decreased for the Northeast but stable in other regions. The number of cases from 2013-2018, by region, are telling: South (19,900-19,585), West (7,290-7,271), Northeast (6,937-5,588), and the Midwest (5,287-4,933).
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