HIV: prevention efforts have failed

There are new estimates of the number of Americans with the virus that causes AIDS. Government researchers say more than one million were living with H.I.V. at the end of two thousand three. Health officials gave a report on June thirteenth at the National H.I.V. Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

The &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a goal in two thousand one to cut the rate of new infections in half. That goal has not been met. But a C.D.C. official, Doctor Ronald Valdiserri, said researchers do think they are making progress.

Doctor Carlos del Rio of Emory University in Atlanta, however, suggested that prevention efforts have failed. He says there may be as many as sixty thousand new cases per year. In recent years, the number has been estimated at forty thousand. Almost half of those infected are believed to be men who have sex with other men. And, researchers say, almost half are black.

People who are infected with H.I.V. often do not know it. There are no cures. But drug treatments can delay the progress of H.I.V. into AIDS. AIDS leaves a person defenseless against disease, tells VOA News.

According to USA Today, women account for about 25% of the roughly 1 million Americans believed to be living with the AIDS virus, HIV, a population that has remained relatively stable over the past few years, says Lisa Fitzpatrick of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the disease is far more heavily concentrated in some groups of women than others, Fitzpatrick says. Twenty-nine percent of the nation's approximately 140 million women live in the South, but they represent 76% of new &to=http:// ' target=_blank>HIV infections, according to data from 32 states that report HIV infections to the CDC.

Other hot spots include parts of the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic.

Minority women increasingly are bearing the brunt of the epidemic, evidence indicates.

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