About 600,000 Adults Ages 18-49 Living With HIV in U.S., National Center for Health Statistics Data Say
About 600,000 adults ages 18 to 49 are living with HIV in the U.S., CDC's National Center for Health Statistics announced on Tuesday, Reuters reports. According to NCHS, the data indicate that HIV prevalence in the U.S. remains stable, according to Reuters. The data also indicate disparities by race, researchers said.
The report found that 2% of non-Hispanic blacks were HIV-positive, compared with 0.23% of whites and 0.3% of Mexican-Americans (CDC release, 1/29). "We do see the disparities by race/ethnicity" in terms of HIV prevalence, Gerry McQuillan of NCHS said, adding, but "[w]e can say the prevalence is basically stable in this U.S., household-based population" (Reuters, 1/29).
For the study, McQuillan and colleagues surveyed 11,928 people ages 18 to 49 participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey -- which administers blood tests and physical exams to participants. According to McQuillan, the data were collected from surveys conducted between 1999 and 2006 among people living in households. He added that prisoners, the homeless and patients in institutions were excluded from the survey. NCHS took data from surveys conducted between 1999 and 2006 "because HIV has a very low prevalence," McQuillan said, adding, "You have to combine all the years."
The report found that HIV prevalence among people ages 18 to 49 "in the civilian, noninstitutionalized household" population was 0.47%. According to McQuillan, that means that between 447,000 and 841,000 people -- or an average of 618,000 -- are living with the virus (Fox, Reuters, 1/29). The new data are generally equivalent to NCHS' HIV prevalence estimate for the same population based on a survey conducted between 1988 and 1994 (CDC release, 1/29).
According to the report, HIV prevalence was 0.7% and 0.2% among men and women, respectively (Reuters, 1/29). According to the release, the report also found that adults in the survey with herpes simplex 2 were more than 15 times more likely to have HIV. About 2% of people with HSV-2 also are HIV-positive (CDC release, 1/29).
According to Reuters, the report does not include data on new HIV cases, but some advocates say the number of new annual HIV cases in the U.S. could be as much as 50% higher than previous estimates (Reuters, 1/29). Researchers and public health officials who have been briefed on the new data have said CDC this year likely will release figures indicating that in 2005, new HIV cases were 20% to 50% higher than previously thought -- translating to a total of up to 60,000 new cases annually. The final number is pending peer review by a scientific journal (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/3/07).