US AIDS Numbers Adjusted Up

New testing method discovers infection spreading faster
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2007 6:22 AM CST
Julie Potyraj, 20, of Norfolk, Mass., chants with other students, from the George Washington University chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign, outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – AIDS is spreading faster among Americans than had been thought, the Washington Post reports. A new method of testing that distinguishes recent infections from older ones shows that the number of people becoming infected each year in the US is 50% higher than previously estimated, for an average of 60,000 rather than 40,000 new cases.

What experts aren't sure about is whether this means the AIDS epidemic in the US is accelerating or was bigger all along. They hope use of the new testing methods will give them a clearer picture. Better data-collecting methods were behind the UN's recent revision downwards of the number of people with AIDS worldwide.