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Estimating national rates of HIV infection among MSM, persons who inject drugs, and heterosexuals in the United States

Crepaz, Nicole; Hess, Kristen L.; Purcell, David W.; Hall, H. Irene

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002111
Epidemiology and Social

Background: Calculating national rates of HIV diagnosis, incidence, and prevalence can quantify disease burden, and is important for planning and evaluating programs. We calculated HIV rates among MSM, persons who inject drugs (PWID), and heterosexuals in 2010 and 2015.

Methods: We used proportion estimates of the US population classified as MSM, PWID, and heterosexuals along with census data to calculate the population sizes which were used as the denominators for calculating HIV rates. The numerators (HIV diagnosis, incidence, and prevalence) were based on data submitted to the National HIV Surveillance System through June 2017.

Results: The estimated HIV diagnosis and incidence rates in 2015 were 574.7 and 583.6 per 100 000 MSM; 34.3 and 32.7 per 100 000 PWID; and 4.1 and 3.8 per 100 000 heterosexuals. The estimated HIV prevalence in 2015 was 12 372.9 per 100 000 MSM; 1937.2 per 100 000 PWID; and 126.7 per 100 000 heterosexuals. The HIV diagnosis rates decreased from 2010 to 2015 in all three transmission categories. Black individuals had the highest HIV diagnosis rates at both time points. The HIV incidence rates decreased among white MSM, MSM aged 13–24 years, PWID overall, and male and female heterosexual individuals; however, it increased among MSM aged 25–34 years.

Conclusions: The estimated HIV diagnosis and HIV infection rates decreased for several transmission categories, and also race/ethnicity and age subgroups. MSM continue to be disproportionately affected. Disparities remain and have widened for some groups. Efforts are needed to strengthen prevention, care, and supportive services for all persons with HIV infection.

Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Correspondence to Nicole Crepaz, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd., Mailstop E-37, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA. Tel: +1 404 639 6149; e-mail:

Received 24 July, 2018

Accepted 16 November, 2018

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