Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes National HIV Prevention Progress Report, 2013

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published online the National HIV Prevention Progress Report and Progress At-A-Glance. This new report describes progress toward achieving CDC’s key HIV prevention goals and the challenges that continue to threaten our success.

Using data from CDC HIV surveillance systems, the report shows results for 21 indicators that support planning, monitoring, and program improvement activities related to three key priorities of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). The Office of National AIDS Policy has issued a separate report describing progress toward meeting the NHAS goals.

Although achieving the nation’s HIV prevention goals will not be easy, the report shows some encouraging signs of progress. Sixty-two percent of current targets were met or exceeded. Comparing 2008 to 2010, new HIV infections decreased 15% among heterosexuals, 21% among African American women, and 22% among injection drug users. There was also a promising decline in the HIV transmission rate, which decreased about 9% from 2006-2010. During this time, testing efforts succeeded in increasing the percentage of people living with HIV who know their serostatus from 80.9% to 84.2%, which means that five out of six people living with HIV in 2010 knew their status.

The report also draws attention to indicators for which more improvement is necessary. For example, there are an estimated 180,000 people in the United States living with undiagnosed HIV infection, racial/ethnic disparities persist, and new infections remain unacceptably high and are increasing among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Comparing 2008 and 2010, there was a 12% increase in new infections among MSM and a 22% increase among young MSM aged 13-24 years. In 2009, three out of four persons in medical care had a suppressed viral load, but across all racial and ethnic groups, the 2015 goal was met by whites only.

The National HIV Prevention Progress Report provides an important opportunity to reflect on our collective progress and shows us where we’ve been successful, and where we need to do better. Achieving meaningful change takes time and sustained effort. The annual targets used to evaluate progress in this and future reports take into account the time needed for program planning, start-up activities, and effects of large-scale programmatic changes. CDC is working with grantees and partners to more fully implement High Impact Prevention (HIP) in the programs conducted by health departments and community-based organizations around the country. Other CDC activities include innovative testing programs for MSM, HIV testing in pharmacies, tailored awareness campaigns through Act Against AIDS, and interventions aimed at increasing linkage to care and medical adherence as well as working to determine how pre-exposure prophylaxis can most effectively be used in the United States.

To reach the 2015 goals, accelerated progress will be needed nationally and locally. It is critical that we remain collectively vigilant in implementing NHAS and HIP strategies and continue to work together to make every prevention dollar count.

The report shows some early signs of progress, but reinforces the fact that we have a long road to travel to ensure our targets are met in 2015. CDC expects that accelerated progress will occur as routine testing recommendations and ART guidelines are adopted, as large-scale prevention programs are more fully implemented, and as access to health care is improved for people living with HIV and those at-risk for infection through the Affordable Care Act.

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