Feature story

3% of US capital city living with HIV

16 March 2009


The District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Update 2008 report.

At least 3% of residents in Washington D.C. are living with HIV according to a report published today by US health officials at the District of Columbia's HIV/AIDS Administration.

The leading mode of transmission of HIV in the district is men having sex with men. Heterosexual transmission and injecting drug use closely follow, the report says.

"Today’s findings by US health officials show that there is no room for complacency in responding to HIV. We must continue to learn from each other and work together - both in developing and high-income countries – to ensure universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for citizens."

Paul de Lay UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Programme, ad interim and Director of Evidence, Monitoring and Policy

“Today’s findings by US health officials show that there is no room for complacency in responding to HIV,” said Paul de Lay UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Programme, ad interim and Director of Evidence, Monitoring and Policy.

“We must continue to learn from each other and work together - both in developing and high-income countries – to ensure universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for citizens.”

The District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Update 2008 reports that HIV is found in all demographics in Washington: more than 4% of African-Americans, almost 2% of Latinos and 1.4% of Caucasians are living with HIV. However African-American men are disproportionably affected, accounting for 76% of people living with HIV.

This follows the broader pattern across the United States where racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. Although African Americans represent about 13% of the population (US Census Bureau, 2006), in 2005 they accounted for 48% of new HIV diagnoses.

The United States of America has one of the largest HIV epidemics in the world, with an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in 2007 (UNAIDS, 2008).

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Publications:

District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Update 2008 (pdf, 12.36 Mb)