ATLANTA, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, on the eve of National HIV Testing Day, the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University unveiled a major update of AIDSVu (www.aidsvu.org), including new interactive online maps that, for the first time, show the latest HIV prevalence data for 13 U.S. cities by ZIP code or census tract. AIDSVu also allows users to view HIV rates alongside key social determinants of health – such as poverty, lack of health insurance, and educational attainment.
"The visual presentation of current HIV data by geographic location available from AIDSVu is a valuable tool that can help inform local, state, and regional HIV program planning and implementation," noted Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "AIDSVu – led by Emory University and developed with the support and advice of partners from the corporate sector, government (federal, state and local), and the HIV community – is the perfect example of how diverse stakeholders can work together to actively address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States."
AIDSVu is a free tool that provides the most detailed publicly available view of HIV prevalence in the United States. The data on AIDSVu pinpoint areas of the country where the rates of people living with an HIV diagnosis are the highest – such as in urban centers, and in the Northeast and the South – and where the needs for prevention, testing and treatment services are most urgent.
AIDSVu is the first interactive online mapping tool to display HIV prevalence data at ZIP code and census tract levels, allowing users to better understand the impact of HIV where they live. AIDSVu also provides local information about HIV testing and treatment site locations, state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, and the estimated percentage of HIV diagnoses that are made late in the course of the disease. AIDSVu is updated regularly as new data and information become available.
"The new city maps on AIDSVu help us understand which communities are most impacted by HIV and where we need to focus resources," said Dr. Patrick Sullivan, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, who is the principal researcher for AIDSVu. "The information on AIDSVu can help educate all Americans about what HIV looks like in the U.S., and support efforts to prevent new HIV infections, expand HIV testing and improve care for people living with HIV."
Key features and findings of AIDSVu include:
- AIDSVu provides interactive maps of HIV prevalence data by census tract for Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and by ZIP code for Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles County; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; Philadelphia; San Francisco; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Washington, D.C. National maps displaying data at the state and county levels are also available, and additional city maps providing ZIP code and census tract data will be added in the future.
- The state- and county-level data on AIDSVu maps have been updated to reflect 2009 data, the most recent nationally comparable HIV prevalence data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The maps on AIDSVu show that the HIV epidemic in the United States varies considerably by geography. The national map shows significantly higher rates of people living with HIV in the Northeast and the South than in much of the rest of the country. AIDSVu's city maps demonstrate that, in many cities, there is a pattern of heavily impacted urban cores with relatively lower impact in areas further from city centers.
- The data on AIDSVu's maps can be viewed by race/ethnicity. AIDSVu shows that HIV disproportionately affects black and Hispanic/Latino Americans, and that these disparities exist in both major metropolitan areas and rural areas.
- AIDSVu visitors can see how HIV prevalence overlaps with social determinants of health – poverty, lack of health insurance, median household income, educational attainment and income inequality – at the county level in side-by-side map views.
- AIDSVu also provides downloadable resources – including slide sets of the various map views available on the site – to help those who work in HIV prevention and treatment educate others about the U.S. epidemic.
AIDSVu and National HIV Testing Day:
- This update of AIDSVu is being launched in advance of National HIV Testing Day. Currently, more than one million Americans are living with HIV, and an estimated one in five people with HIV do not know their status.
- Information about HIV prevalence at the local level – as shown on AIDSVu – can help individuals understand the impact of HIV in their communities and the importance of getting tested, and the AIDSVu testing locator helps users find a place in their community to get tested for HIV.
The state- and county-level data displayed on AIDSVu were obtained from the CDC and compiled by researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. ZIP code and census tract data were provided directly by state, county and city health departments, depending on the entity responsible for HIV surveillance, and were also compiled by Rollins researchers. The project is guided by an Advisory Committee and a Technical Advisory Group with representatives from federal agencies, state health departments and non-governmental organizations working in HIV prevention, care and research. Financial support for AIDSVu was provided to Emory University by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
About the Rollins School of Public Health
The Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) is part of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. The school houses six academic departments, 20 multidisciplinary centers – including an NIH-supported Center for AIDS Research – and over 160 full-time doctoral-level faculty members.