In the United States, 1.2 million people are living with HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which weakens the immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection.
Resources & Statistics
In 2016, new HIV infections were estimated to be at 39,782 in the United States. This is down from 47,500 in 2010.
About 1.1 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2015, the most recent year this information was available. Of those people, around 15% (1 in 7) do not know they are infected.
How HIV Affects Different Groups of People**
By race and ethnicity: African Americans are most affected by HIV. In 2015, African Americans made up only 12% of the US population, but had 42% of all new HIV infections. Additionally, Hispanic/Latinos are also strongly affected. They make up 17% of the US population, but had 26% of all new HIV infections.
By age: Young people, aged 13-24 are especially affected by HIV. They comprised 16% of the US population, but accounted for 26% of all new HIV infections in 2010. All young people are not equally at risk, however. Young men who have sex with men (MSM), for example, accounted for 72% of all new infections in people aged 13-24, and young, African American MSM are even more severely affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "In 2010, African American gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men represented an estimated 72% (10,600) of new infections among all African American men and 36% of an estimated 29,800 new HIV infections among all gay and bisexual men. More new HIV infections (4,800) occurred among young African American gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24) than any other subgroup of gay and bisexual men."
By risk group: Gay, bisexual, and MSM of all races and ethnicities remain the population most profoundly affected by HIV. In 2015, MSM had 68% of all new HIV infections, even though they made up only around 2% of the population. Individuals infected through heterosexual sex made up 25.3% of all new HIV infections in 2015.
By geography: HIV is largely an urban disease, with most cases occurring in metropolitan areas with 500,000 or more people. However, HIV is not just isolated to metropolitan areas, rural areas can be effected as well. The South has the highest number of individuals living with HIV, but when you take population size into account, the Northeast has the highest rate of persons living with new HIV infections.
HIV/AIDS In Indiana*
By the end of December 2017, a total of 12,635 persons were living with HIV/AIDS in Indiana. Most people living with HIV/AIDS in Indiana are concentrated in the urban areas of the state, however rural areas can also be affected. The majority live in Central Indiana and the Indianapolis Metropolitan area.The disease continues to be male dominated, with the number of diagnosed males just over four times higher than that of females. In 2017, the breakdown by ethnicity for those with the disease were: White - 48.4%, Black - 38%, Hispanic - 8.9%, Other - 4.7%.
Worldwide, there were about 1.8 million new cases of HIV in 2016.
Over 36 million people are living with HIV around the world, and in 2016, around 19.5 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
An estimated 1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2013, and an estimated 39 million people with AIDS have died worldwide since the epidemic began.
Sub-Saharan Africa bears the biggest burden of HIV/AIDS, with almost 70% of the global total of new HIV infections for 2013. Other regions significantly affected by HIV/AIDS include Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
In 1987, a drug called AZT became the first approved treatment for HIV infection. Since then, approximately 30 drugs have been approved to treat people living with HIV/AIDS, and more are under development. For individuals living with HIV, these drugs have become life-saving treatments.
Since there is no cure for HIV, a person will have HIV for life, and without the proper medications, HIV can ultimately lead to death. Fortunately, remarkable advances in science and technology mean that HIV is now a chronic manageable disease, so that people who have HIV can lead long, healthy lives if they get proper medical treatment. Current HIV treatments also allow individuals with HIV to drastically reduce their risk of transmitting HIV to others, including sexual partners and, for females, unborn children.
There are now five different classes of HIV drugs, each attacking the virus at different points in its life cycle. People taking HIV medications will generally take three different antiretroviral drugs from two different classes. This regimen, often referred to as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART or ART), is the standard for HIV treatment, and gives individuals with HIV the best opportunity to control the amount of HIV in their body, protect their immune system, and protect against drug resistance.
Taking HIV medications is critical to lowering HIV viral load (the amount of HIV in the body) and increasing CD4 levels (the amount of healthy, immune-boosting cells in the body). Getting and staying on medical treatment is the key to long-term success, and for people living with HIV, achieving overall wellness requires a comprehensive approach.
At Damien Center, we focus on each patient's unique needs as they work toward getting and staying on HIV medications. When patients are stable in all areas of their lives, they are able to adhere to the medical treatment that leads to undetectable viral loads. With this goal in mind, Damien Center conveniently provides a wide range of programs and services under one roof, making it easy for our patients to access all the care and support available.