CDC Sharply Raises Estimate of HIV Cases in US

New test indicates 40% more infected in US each year than reported
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2008 1:13 PM CDT
President Bush looks up after signing the United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS Act of 2008. Critics fear the US isn't doing enough at home to combat AIDS.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A lot more people in the US have HIV than previously thought. A new CDC study suggests that the US has undercounted by about 15,000 cases a year for 15 years or so, the New York Times reports. That would add 225,000 cases to the current estimate of about 1 million. The new figures are likely to have a big impact on decisions about AIDS policy in the US and fuel criticism about prevention measures, the Times notes.

The study looked specifically at 2006 and revised the official estimate of new infections by 40%, from 40,000 to 56,300. Other findings: More than a third of new infections occur in those between the ages of 13 and 29; gay men account for 53% of infections; and black people, who account for 45% of infections, get HIV at a rate seven times that of whites, and three times that of Hispanics, another group that is affected disproportionately.