HIV/AIDS: Infection Rates Plummet In Four Cities
In what could be a "potential turning point" in the AIDS epidemic, a new study has found that "AIDS infection rates have dropped sharply among homosexual and bisexual men in at least four U.S. cities," Reuters/USA Today reports. The study, presented yesterday at a meeting of the American Public Health Association, found that "among a sample of about 2,800 gay and bisexual men in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, the prevalence of HIV ... was an average of 17% -- down from estimated highs of as much as 50% in the mid-1980s." Study author Joseph Catania of the University of California-San Francisco said that the "decrease in HIV cases could be attributed in large part to the huge toll AIDS has taken among gay and bisexual men." He said, "When people are dying, it takes them out of the caldron, removing people who might potentially be infecting other folks." Catania also noted that "intense prevention work in the gay and bisexual community" has contributed to the drop. Catania noted, however, that the "drop was not uniform" across different subpopulations. HIV rates still remain "shockingly high" for "minorities, intravenous drug users and heavy users of drugs and alcohol." Catania noted that "[t]heir rates are still higher than any (one) else in the world." He added, "What has basically happened is that the situation has gone from the brink of extinction to one that is just tragic" (11/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.