Under 1 Percent of U.S. Adults Have HIV: Report

Maggie Fox, Reuters, January 29, 2008

About one-half of one percent of young adults living in homes in the United States are infected with the AIDS virus, around 600,000 people, the National Center for Health Statistics reported on Tuesday.

The agency’s snapshot of HIV infection in the United States shows the rate continues to be stable and confirms other surveys that show black men are far more likely than other Americans to be infected.

The report covers adults aged 18 to 49 and only people living in households—not prisoners, the homeless or patients in institutions, said Gerry McQuillan, who led the study.

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Men were more likely to be infected (0.7 percent) than women (0.2 percent). People infected with the herpes simplex type 2 virus, known as genital herpes, were 15 times more likely to also be infected with HIV, according to the report, available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db04.pdf.

Black men aged 40 to 49 had the highest rate of infection, at close to 4 percent, the survey found.

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“We do see the disparities by race/ethnicity,” McQuillan said. “We can say the prevalence is basically stable in this U.S., household-based population.”

The report does not include data on how many people are newly infected with HIV.

These numbers have not been released but AIDS advocacy groups say the new figures will put the number of Americans infected with the AIDS virus each year close to 50 percent higher than previous estimates, at 55,000 instead of 40,000.

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