CDC: Too Many Americans Underestimate HIV Risk

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has warned that far too many Americans underestimate their risk for HIV or mistakenly believe the virus that causes AIDS is no longer a serious health threat.

A statement was issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 30 years after the first report of the mysterious and deadly disease. It calls for increased AIDS awareness and prevention efforts.

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden says more than 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV and that many are living longer thanks to new treatments. But he warns there still is no cure for HIV and that most new infections occur in people under the age of 30.

The CDC also warns that some groups continue to see higher rates of HIV infection than the general public.

It says gay and bisexual men — about 2 percent of the U.S. population — account for about half of all new HIV cases. African-Americans and Latinos also have higher rates of HIV infection than the general population.

Dr. Frieden says reducing HIV rates is critical, and that treating new HIV infections is expected to cost the U.S. more than $200 billion over the next decade.