Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
AIDS-Related Deaths and Syphilis Infections Declining in the United States, CDC Report Says
AIDS-related deaths and syphilis infections are declining in the United States, according to a new CDC report on the state of health in America, the Los Angeles Times reports (Mestel, Los Angeles Times, 9/13). The report, titled "Health, United States, 2002," analyzes health trends spanning the second half of the 20th century (Washington Post, 9/13). The syphilis rate in 2000 dropped to 2.2 cases per 100,000 people, marking the lowest infection rate since national reporting of the disease began in 1941 (HHS release, 9/12). The report noted, however, that the average annual rate of decline in primary and secondary syphilis slowed to 8% between 1998 and 2000, following average annual reductions of more than 20% after 1990. More than 40,000 new AIDS cases were reported in 2000, but this number marks a decline from recent years. Among males ages 13 and older, 11% fewer AIDS cases were reported in 2000 compared to 1999, while 4% fewer cases were reported over the same time period among females in that age group. Of the new AIDS cases reported in 2000, 75% occurred among males ("Health, United States, 2002," September 2002). The report noted that AIDS-related deaths have declined since 1995, when antiretroviral therapy was made more widely available (Los Angeles Times, 9/13). Although AIDS-related causes were the leading cause of death among adults ages 25 to 44 in the mid-1990s, AIDS-related mortality dropped to the fifth leading cause of death among people in this age group in 1999. AIDS-related deaths have dropped "sharply" for black and Hispanic males, but AIDS-related causes remained the leading cause of death for black males ages 25 to 44 and the third-leading cause of death for Hispanic males in this age group in 1999. Among people ages 25 to 44, AIDS-related mortality rates have remained "much higher" for black and Hispanic males than for non-Hispanic white males ("Health, United States, 2002," September 2002). The report is available online.
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