AIDS was first identified in the USA in 1981. The epidemic has now spread to every part of the USA and to all sectors of society.

It is thought that more than one million people are living with HIV in the USA and that more than half a million have died after developing AIDS.

American HIV surveillance data are not comprehensive so many statistics must be based on reports of AIDS diagnoses. In interpreting such AIDS statistics, it is important to remember that they do not correspond to new HIV infections. Most people live with HIV for several years before developing AIDS.

AIDS statistics

People living with AIDS

At the end of 2007, the CDC estimates that 468,578 people were living with , around 20,000 more than 2006. This number includes all people who have ever been diagnosed with an AIDS-defining condition and are believed to be alive, including many people who have recovered their health by taking antiretroviral therapy. The chart below shows the ethnicities of these people, revealing that black Americans have been disproportionately affected.

The charts below show how adults and adolescents (aged 13 and over) living with AIDS most likely became infected with HIV. Just over 75% of adults and adolescents living with AIDS are men.

An estimated 3,792 children aged under 13 were living with AIDS at the end of 2007. The vast majority of these children acquired HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding.

People with AIDS are surviving longer and are contributing to a steady increase in the number of people living with AIDS. This trend will continue as long as the number of new diagnoses exceeds the number of people dying each year.

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AIDS diagnoses and deaths

In June 1981, the first cases of what is now known as AIDS were reported in the USA. During the 1980s, there were rapid increases in the number of AIDS cases and deaths of people with AIDS. Cases peaked with the 1993 expansion of the case definition1, and then declined. The most dramatic drops in both cases and deaths began in 1996, with the widespread use of combination .

Since 2000 the annual numbers of AIDS diagnoses have been relatively constant, with an estimated 37,041 in 2006. In total, an estimated 1,051,875 people have been ...

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