Health and Wellness

HIV transmission was going down for years. But the trend stopped.

A scientist looking at a microscope
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After years of decline in HIV transmissions in the United States from 2010 to 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that progress stalled from 2013 through 2016 in their latest HIV surveillance report.

The CDC claims that the decline has stalled in recent years due to a lack of effective HIV prevention and treatment in rural areas and the south, primarily among African-Americans and the Latinx community. 

While the CDC claims the period from 2010-2013 was one of “dramatic decline,” others, including a report in POZ, note that the overall decrease was only 5%, from 41,100 new cases in 2010 to 38,900 cases in 2013.

Related: Meet the group of white guys Trump has tasked with ending HIV transmissions 

Transmission rates had also been stagnant prior to 2010, only showing true decline between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s at the height of efforts to curb HIV and AIDS.

The CDC reports that while transmission rates were largely stable among Black gay and bisexual men, they have increased by 30% among Latinx gay and bisexual men, and dropped 16% among white gay and bisexual men.

When they break the numbers down by age as well as ethnicity, infections have decreased more than 30% among Black gay and bisexual men ages 13-24, but increased for Black and Latinx gay and bisexual men ages 25-34.

The report comes just three weeks after President Trump, in his last State of the Union speech, claimed he will “eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years.”

“After a decades-long struggle, the path to eliminate America’s HIV epidemic is clear,” said the director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Eugene McCray, M.D., via a CDC release. “Expanding efforts across the country will close gaps, overcome threats, and turn around troublesome trends.”

It is worth noting, however, that the president also previously terminated the members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) without explanation  and took $5.7 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to aid his fight against immigrant children.

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