CDC: HIV statistics point to new 'epidemic'
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JUNE 1, 2001

American Indian and Alaska Native males have the third highest prevalence rate of HIV infection among racial and ethnic minorities, according to statistics released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

The data, said the CDC, points to a "resurgent HIV epidemic" among young males who have sex with other males. Twenty years after the first case of HIV was reported, they confirm that the rate among young men remains extremely high despite years of education on the risks associated with the human immunodeficiency virus.

To assess the rate of HIV among young men, the CDC conducted a survey of 3,449 males in seven cities from 1994 to 2000. Broken into two parts, 249 males ages 15 to 22 were infected with HIV during the first four years of the study.

The rates among ethnic and racial minorities varied, with prevalence among African-Americans (14.1 percent) and Hispanics (6.9 percent) being the highest. But Native American males followed close behind with a prevalence of 6.7 percent, rates which overshadowed those of Whites (3.3 percent) and Asian-Americans (3.0 percent).

(Prevalence among mixed-race males was 13.4 percent.)

The second phase of the survey focused on the years 1998 to 2000 and on males ages 23 to 29. Data is preliminary but suggests increasing rates of infection among African-Americans and Hispanics -- which threaten to skyrocket unless more education and community action is taken, said the CDC.

Transmitted through blood or sexual contact, HIV can lead to AIDS. The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome itself is not a disease but a diagnosis made when a person develops what are called AIDS indicator illnesses.

According to the CDC, there were 2,337 diagnosed cases of AIDS among American Indians as of December 2000. The number represents less than 1 percent of the total AIDS cases in the United States.

The CDC data falls in line with numbers reported by the Indian Health Service. Males represent 83 percent of the cases, female 26 percent.

The first cases of AIDS in America were reported on June 5, 1981. From those five men in Los Angeles, the number grew to 774,467.

In Indian Country, the first four were reported in 1984. Just ten years later, there were about 1,000, a figure which has since more than doubled.

Get the Reports:
HIV and AIDS --- United States, 1981--2000 (MMWR Weekly June 01, 2001 / 50(21);430-434)
HIV Incidence Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men --- Seven U.S. Cities, 1994--2000 (MMWR Weekly June 01, 2001 / 50(21);440-444)
U.S. HIV and AIDS cases reported through June 2000 (HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report Midyear edition Vol. 12, No. 1)

Relevant Links:
AIDS FAQ, Centers for Disease Control -
AIDS Programs, Indian Health Service -
AIDS Resources, Indian Health Service -
Minority risk to AIDS, Centers for Disease Control -

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