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HIV rates remain stable

Category: HIV

A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that HIV prevalence in the U.S. has remained stable in all age groups and ethnicities, although some groups remain disproportionately affected, notably African-Americans and men who have sex with men (MSM).

According to the recent report, which is based on statistics from 2010, nearly 44 percent of all HIV incidence was in African-American populations. For white and Hispanic demographics those numbers were 31 percent and 21 percent respectively.

The source also notes that in MSM populations the rate of HIV infections increased 12 percent from 2008 to 2010, and approximately 63 percent of all HIV incidence in 2010 were in MSM. Some risk factors that increase the likelihood of contracting HIV in MSM is the preexisting number of males who have sex with other males and have the virus, the increased rate of MSM who are unaware that they are even infected, lack of insurance and other high rates of STDs.

HIV incidence among females due to heterosexual contact experienced a decline within the two-year time period, dropping by 18 percent, from 9,800 in 2008 to 8,000 in 2010.

Some limitations of the report that the CDC notes include the data only being from 18 states and two cities, which the CDC assumed was demonstrative of the rest of the United States.

Medical News Today reports that even though the overall HIV incidence has remained steady, the number of people currently living with HIV has increased, which is a testament to the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs. In order to curb HIV infection rates in the future the CDC plans to support prevention programs, take efforts to track the epidemic and raise awareness.

HIV facts
Some risk factors for contracting HIV, according to the Mayo Clinic, include having unprotected sex, having another sexually transmitted infection, using intravenous drugs and being an uncircumcised male.

HIV hinders the immune system from fighting off diseases. Some common infections that result from the virus include tuberculosis, salmonella, candidiasi and toxoplasmosis, which is a deadly infection caused by parasites, reports the Mayo Clinic. The source also notes that people who suffer from HIV may also develop wasting syndrome, which is when nearly 10 percent of body weight is lost. Neurological complications like confusion and forgetfulness and kidney disease may also occur.

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