HIV infections rise in US

AIDs epidemic far from over as US figures rise

Medics are warning that the AIDs crisis is far from over with the number of Americans infected with HIV far higher than previously estimated.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of new infections each year is actually around 40% higher than originally calculated, with more than 56,3000 individuals newly infected during 2006, rather than the 40,000 on record.

Why the sudden leap? That’s thanks to a new technology, which allows the CDC to separate new infections from old ones, and therefore, calculate more accurately the numbers being diagnosed each year.

‘[This is] the most accurate profile of the HIV-AIDs epidemic possible,’ says Richard Wolitski of CDC. ‘That’s critical. Without clear and precise information it’s extremely difficult to know where to invest resources.’

Alarmingly, although the numbers of heterosexuals and IV drug users being newly diagnosed with the disease is falling, the number of homosexuals and African-Americans is rising disproportionately.

Gay and bisexual men now account for 53% of all HIV infections, while African-Americans, who only make up 13% of the American population, account for 45% of all new infections.

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