The number of new HIV infections occurring annually in the United States decreased by an estimated 11 percent from 2010 to 2015, while the HIV transmission rate decreased by an estimated 17 percent during the same time period, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania.
But despite making important progress on these key indicators, the researchers say the U.S. fell short of the goals outlined in the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) released by President Obama’s administration in 2010. The 2010 NHAS called for a 25-percent reduction in HIV incidence — the number of new infections in a given time period — and a 30-percent reduction in the rate of transmission by the year 2015. Their report, published online in the journal AIDS and Behavior, used mathematical modeling to provide the first estimates of the nation’s progress toward the NHAS targets for HIV incidence and transmission rates by 2015.
“The good news is that we appear to have made important strides in the prevention of HIV and the reduction of HIV transmission rates in the United States; unfortunately, these key gains only got us roughly halfway to the 2015 goal line,” says the study’s senior author, Dr. David Holtgrave, chair of the department of health, behavior and society at the Bloomberg School. “After the release of the first National HIV/AIDS strategy, researchers cautioned that failure to expand diagnostic, prevention and care services to necessary levels would result in underachievement on the NHAS goals for 2015. Our analysis suggests that is just what happened.”