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The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States Is REAL—Get the Facts!

Before we can stop any epidemic, we first have to recognize the magnitude of the disease. HIV is still a threat across the United States. And even though there are treatments to help people with HIV live longer than ever before, AIDS is still a significant health issue. Surprised? Get the facts:

The HIV/AIDS epidemic isn't just happening in faraway places.

People here in the United States become infected with HIV far too often—on average, every 9½ minutes. And it changes not only the lives of those who become infected, but also the lives of their families and friends.

Even though the epidemic is different in every city and every state, some groups of people are harder hit by HIV than others. In the United States, gay and bisexual men of all races bear the greatest burden. Black men and women and Hispanic men also have very high rates of HIV compared with other racial or ethnic groups.

It is important for people to understand that race, by itself, is not a risk factor for HIV infection. Poverty, homelessness, lack of access to health care, incarceration rates, drug use, and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can all increase rates of HIV.

Where did the estimate that every 9½ minutes someone in the United States gets HIV come from?

In 2008, CDC developed new estimates for the annual number of HIV infections—which suggest that about 56,300 new HIV infections occur each year. This estimate is a national average. CDC arrived at the 9½ minutes figure by dividing the number of minutes in one year by the 56,300 new HIV infections that were estimated for 2006. This result indicates that, on average, one new HIV infection occurs every 9.34 minutes in a year. For more information on the 56,300 estimate visit the HIV Incidence section of the CDC HIV Web site.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) logo. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) logo.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention