Washington - The rate of HIV diagnoses in the United States
has dropped more than 30% over the past decade, but is on the rise among
certain gay men, researchers said on Saturday.
Men who have sex with men and who are aged between 13 and 24
saw the biggest rise - a 132.5% increase in the rate of HIV diagnoses - said
the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Gay men aged 45 and older were also increasingly diagnosed
Meanwhile, the rate of HIV diagnoses fell among other
groups, including heterosexual women and injection drug users.
Overall, the rate of HIV diagnosis in the United States
dropped 33% from 2002-2011, said the study led by Anna Satcher Johnson of the
Division of HIV/Aids Prevention at the US Centers for Disease Control and
Researchers examined data collected by the National HIV
Surveillance System of the CDC, which is based on mandated reporting of HIV
cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
During the period of 2002-2011, 493 372 people in the United
States were diagnosed with HIV.
The annual diagnosis rate fell by 33.2%, from 24.1 per 100 000
population in 2002 to 16.1 in 2011, said the study.
While statistically significant decreases surfaced in most
every demographic group, no changes were seen among Asians or Native Hawaiians
and other Pacific Islanders.
Among men who have sex with men, diagnoses "remained
stable overall", but when they were separated by age group, certain growth
trends became apparent.
Meanwhile, HIV fell among men aged 35-44.
"Among men who have sex with men, unprotected risk
behaviours in the presence of high prevalence and unsuppressed viral load may
continue to drive HIV transmission," said the study.
Researchers also noted that HIV testing was expanded during
the study period, which can often result in an initial surge in diagnoses, but
it was unclear if this was driving the rise among some men.
The findings are published in the July issue of JAMA that
focuses on HIV/Aids and coincides with the International Aids Conference in