People Living Longer With HIV

A series of HIV/AIDS Awareness ribbons( — The number of people living with HIV continues to rise. That’s mainly because of highly effective drugs that allow people infected with HIV to live longer, healthier lives, the CDC says.

But another reason is that prevention efforts and educational programs have helped reduce infections, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, says in a news release. That news release, dated June 2, 2011, marks 30 years since the first report of the illness that came to be known as AIDS was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The CDC says in its MMWR dated June 3 that highly active antiretroviral therapy is effective and that the death rate of people infected with HIV has declined dramatically over the past two decades.

But the AIDS crisis is not over, and Frieden says more resolve is needed to end this epidemic.

HIV/AIDS Still Infecting and Killing People

The new report says that every year about 50,000 U.S. residents are infected with HIV. Half of the newly infected are men who have sex with men. And nearly half are African-American.

In the latest MMWR, CDC researchers say 1.17 million people in the United States are living with the virus and about 20% do not know they are infected.