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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:57 am 
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CDC Increases U.S. HIV Incidence Figures

RTP, NC-- New CDC data released Sunday indicates approximately 16,000 more new cases of HIV occur in the U.S. each year than previously estimated. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) renews its call for a comprehensive national program that effectively addresses the social and economic factors behind the epidemic.

Since the 1990s, estimates on the new cases per year, or incidence, of HIV in the U.S. have held firm at 40,000, but the revised figures put the number closer to 56,300 new cases annually. CDC says the updated estimates are due to a more sophisticated surveillance system that can distinguish new infections from older ones, and the figures don't mean HIV infections are increasing.

The data was presented August 3 rd at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, and will also be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

ASHA president and CEO Lynn B. Barclay says that regardless of the numbers, HIV/AIDS is a tragedy underscored by “nearly eight years of neglect of public and private STD prevention infrastructure, highlighted by continued federal funding of failed abstinence-only sexual education curricula.”

Nearly 1 million Americans are estimated to be living with HIV (a fourth of whom are unaware of their status), and Barclay notes that the U.S. still lacks a comprehensive strategic plan to deal with HIV/AIDS, even though such plans are required of any nation that receives U.S. funds for HIV prevention programs. “HIV infections disproportionately impact gay men, communities of color, the poor, and young people,” she says, “and the only effective response is one that allocates sufficient resources to address the numerous issues, including poverty and stigma, that drive the epidemic.”

Learn more about HIV/AIDS at www.ashastd.org/learn/learn_hiv_aids_overview.cfm

The American Social Health Association (ASHA) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1914 to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities, with a focus on educating about and preventing sexually transmitted infections. ASHA's educational web sites include: www.ASHAstd.org , www.iwannaknow.org (teen site), and www.quierosaber.org (Spanish language teen site).

Posted by Fredo

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