Monday, August 4, 2008

Awwwwwwww FREAK OUT

...Just in case anybody felt the need to hit the panic button when the CDC announced their annual estimate of 40,000 people infected by HIV per year is actually around 55,0000...Don't! There's no need to.

Just to be clear- this doesn't mean there are any new increases or spikes in infection rates, all it means is now that the CDC has better testing procedures and models the estimated 40,000 cases, is and has been, higher than originally perceived. The number of infections per year have maintained relatively the same it's just higher than the CDC initially thought based on old models and testing procedures.

The country had roughly 56,300 new HIV infections in 2006 - a dramatic increase from the 40,000 annual estimate used for the last dozen years. The new figure is due to a better blood test and new statistical methods, and not a worsening of the epidemic, officials said.
On one hand this can be looked at as good news because the CDC has better testing capabilities and thus a clearer picture of the epidemic and where it's heading. On the other hand, 56,000 is still a fuck-load of infections per year.

It's important to note that more than half of these infections are amongst gay and bisexual men and one-third are happening to men under 30.
Some experts celebrated that finding, saying it’s a tribute to prevention efforts, including nearly 200 syringe exchange programs now operating in 36 states despite a federal ban on funding for such projects.

But they also lamented the CDC’s finding that infections continue to increase in gay and bisexual men, who accounted for more than half of HIV infections in 2006. Also, more than a third of those with HIV are younger than 30.

....Some said more attention needs to focus on prevention among blacks, who account for nearly half of annual HIV infections, according to the new CDC report.

Again, as always, to keep these numbers down- keep this conversation on the table, respect yourself and your partner, communicate and use condoms. Easy enough.

Reading these articles and sifting through the statistics is never a fun nor easy task. In one of my previous posts entitled: "Serosorting, Barebackers, +'s and %'s Oh My!" I tackle the subject of the often hard-to-decipher statistical HIV reporting.

2 comments:

the zak said...

by Lawrence K. Altman
A separate historical trend analysis published as part of the study suggests that the number of new infections was probably never as low as the earlier estimate of 40,000 and that it has been roughly stable overall since the late 1990s.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/health/03aids.html

by Stephen Smith
...advances in blood-testing methods combined with closer tracking of new cases allowed the health agency to determine that the actual figure is closer to 56,000 infections a year.
http://www.boston.com/news/health/
articles/2008/08/03/hiv_more_widespread_than_thought/

the zak said...

Graphic at
http://www.boston.com/news/health/
articles/2008/08/03/aids_pop/