ATLANTA, June 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, AIDSVu released new interactive maps illustrating the impact of HIV across the United States, showing that two-thirds of all new HIV diagnoses in 2015 occurred in two-and-a-half percent of U.S. counties. Using the latest publicly available data at the city-, county-, and state-levels, these new maps visualize disparities in HIV infections and mortality, both geographically and across different demographic groups.
AIDSVu maps illustrate that where you live matters when it comes to being at risk for HIV infection. For example, the five U.S. cities with the highest rates of new diagnoses (Miami, FL; Jackson, MS; New Orleans, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; and Atlanta, GA) are all located in the South. The data also shows that while the overall rate of new HIV infection is declining, certain demographic groups remain at elevated risk for infection. In 2015, young persons between ages 13 and 24 accounted for more than one quarter of all new HIV diagnoses and Black Americans accounted for 45 percent of all new HIV diagnoses. Newly updated county-level data on AIDSVu also reflects the rise in HIV diagnoses in Scott County, Indiana, where an HIV outbreak related to opioid and injection drug abuse resulted in over 150 individuals becoming infected with HIV from 2014 to 2015. AIDSVu maps visualize this impact in a county that had historically diagnosed less than five new HIV cases annually.
"AIDSVu maps tell the story of the long-term disproportionate impact of HIV in the South, and of the areas where new patterns of transmission are emerging. The burgeoning opioid abuse and intravenous drug use epidemics, and the resulting transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases, will have dramatic repercussions for how the HIV epidemic evolves in the future," said Dr. Patrick Sullivan, principal investigator of AIDSVu from Emory University. "Using local data will allow policymakers and researchers to stay aligned with the realities of where HIV is entrenched and where it is emerging, to strengthen surveillance, and to provide responsive prevention strategies to mitigate these serious risks."
This year's AIDSVu maps and resources illustrate the following key trends:
- Southern States Experience the Greatest Burden of Infection and Deaths: The Southern U.S. is home to nearly 37 percent of the country's population, but these states account for more than half of all new HIV diagnoses (52 percent) and deaths among persons diagnosed with HIV (49 percent).
- Racial Disparities in HIV Infection Continue with African Americans Most Impacted: While making up just 12 percent of the U.S. population, African American persons accounted for 45 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2015.
- HIV Diagnoses Among Youth Continue to Rise: While the number of new HIV diagnoses among all persons in the U.S. decreased by 18 percent between 2008 and 2015, new diagnoses among youth (aged 13 to 24) increased by 2 percent.
Widespread HIV testing, early diagnosis, timely linkage to care and treatment, and access to comprehensive HIV prevention services are critical components of our national response to the HIV epidemic. In fact, according to a 2015 study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in the United States could be averted by diagnosing people living with HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment. AIDSVu provides its users with searchable locators for HIV testing, care, and comprehensive prevention services (including Truvada for PrEP™), alongside interactive maps of the HIV epidemic, and is proud to be an inaugural user of PrEPLocator.org.
AIDSVu is a project of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. Now in its seventh year, AIDSVu is continually expanding the data and resources available on the site to give researchers, policymakers, and others the most comprehensive understanding of the HIV epidemic at the local, state, and national level.
Major data updates for 2017 include:
- State- and county-level data showing HIV prevalence (2014), and new HIV diagnoses (year-over-year for 2008 to 2015).
- ZIP code-level maps showing HIV prevalence (2015) for 41 U.S. cities representing more than 60 percent of the U.S. HIV epidemic. This year, AIDSVu added ZIP code-level data for one additional city: Seattle, WA.
- ZIP code-level new HIV diagnoses data (cumulative 2011 to 2015) for all 41 cities on AIDSVu.
- Mortality data at the state level, showing rates and number of deaths that occurred among people with diagnosed HIV (2014).
New features on the website this year include:
- HIV PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) locator, which is a national directory of U.S. providers of comprehensive prevention services (including Truvada for PrEP™) developed by Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health with support from M•A•C AIDS Fund.
- Data for the estimated number of transgender people living with diagnosed HIV (2014) for 30 cities.
State- and county-level data displayed on AIDSVu were obtained from the CDC, and compiled by researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health. ZIP code, census tract, and neighborhood data were provided by the state and city health departments, depending on the entity responsible for HIV surveillance.
AIDSVu was developed by Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. The project is guided by an Advisory Committee, a Prevention and Treatment 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.
About the Rollins School of Public Health
The Rollins School of Public Health is part of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The school houses six academic departments, 20 multidisciplinary centers – including an NIH-supported Center for AIDS Research – and more than 160 full-time doctoral-level faculty members.
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