HIV infections in U.S. fall by a third a new study finds.

U.S. HIV Infection Rate Falls By a Third in a Decade

U.S. HIV Infection Rate Falls By a Third in a Decade

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July 20 2014 10:36 AM

U.S. HIV Infection Rate Falls By a Third in a Decade

147211296-sign-for-free-hiv-testing-is-seen-outside-a-walgreens
A sign for free HIV testing is seen outside a Walgreens pharmacy in Times Square.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

A new study shows that the rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the U.S. declined by a third over the last decade. The Journal of the American Medical Association study found 24 people out of 100,000 had HIV in 2002 and by 2011 that number had fallen to 16 people for every 100,000. During that period a total of 493,372 were diagnosed with HIV. Within the context of the overall decline “declines were also seen in the rates for men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, heterosexuals, injection drug users and most age groups,” the BBC reports. The only groups to see diagnoses increase were gay and bisexual men. The World Health Organization estimates more than one million Americans have HIV and 18 percent of them are unaware that they have it.

Another positive sign is the decline of HIV in the U.S. comes as testing has increased. “Although experts say reasons for the US decline in infections are unknown, it is in line with a global downturn in the Aids epidemic,” according to the BBC. “Last week, the United Nations said that there were 2.1 million new HIV infections worldwide in 2013, down 38% from 2001.”