AIDS/HIV | Barack Obama | John McCain | News

BigGayDeal.com

CDC: U.S. HIV/AIDS Infection Underestimated by 40 Percent

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released shocking new numbers on Sunday at the start of a Mexican conference on AIDS and HIV that painted a much bleaker picture of the epidemic in the United States and revealed that new cases are rising fastest among gay and bisexual men (Peter Staley has posted an informative graph):

Hiv"About 56,300 people are now thought to be infected with HIV annually—a startling 40 percent jump from the government's previous estimate of 40,000. The new figures represent improved assessments, not evidence that infection rates are going up, officials said. But the news had AIDS advocacy groups in Chicago calling for additional funding to combat the outbreak among gay men and African-Americans, among whom cases of infection are increasing fastest, the study shows. Advocates also called for a national strategy to combat the epidemic. The new numbers, compiled in 2006, were derived from a sophisticated blood test that determines when a patient was infected. Previous studies depended on a medical diagnosis that did not give the time frame of infection, making it difficult to compile yearly data."

Additionally, "New cases are rising fastest among gay and bisexual men, according to the report, representing about 53 percent of the infections. African-Americans represent about 45 percent of the cases. About 60 percent of the victims are younger than 40, and 73 percent are men."

The CDC has had the new data for almost a year but said it was undergoing peer review.

ObamaBarack Obama responded to the new data, releasing a statement which read, in part:

"These new figures should bring new focus to our efforts to address AIDS and HIV here at home. As president, I am committed to developing a National AIDS Strategy to decrease new HIV infections and improve health outcomes for Americans living with HIV/AIDS. Across the nation, we also need to prevent the spread of HIV and get people into treatment by expanding access to testing and comprehensive education programs. This report also demonstrates the need for more timely data about HIV transmission so that we can effectively evaluate prevention efforts. Combating HIV/AIDS also demands closing the gaps in opportunity that exist in our society so that we can strengthen our public health. We must also overcome the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS - a stigma that is too often tied to homophobia. We need to encourage folks to get tested and accelerate HIV/AIDS research toward an effective cure because we have a moral obligation to join together to meet this challenge, and to do so with the urgency this epidemic demands."

McCain released a statement as well: "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday announced that in 2006 there were 56,300 new HIV infections in United States -- significantly higher than the previous estimate of 40,000 cases. More than a million Americans live with this devastating disease. As President, I will work closely with non-profit, government, and private sector stakeholders to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS. By focusing efforts on reducing drug costs through greater market competition, promoting prevention efforts, encouraging testing, targeting communities with high infection rates, strengthening research and reducing disparities through effective public outreach, we as a nation can make great progress in fighting HIV/AIDS."

The XVII International AIDS Conference takes place from August 3 till August 8.

AIDS epidemic in U.S. 'worse than previously known' [chicago tribune]

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. Why does McCain saying "targeting communities with high infection rates" scare the hell out of me?

    Posted by: InfiniteDomain | Aug 4, 2008 8:54:26 AM


  2. You forgot to add the article about Obama having played the race card and how Axlerod had to apologize for him. Later Obama had to apologize again in Florida. If it were the other way around you would have devoted a dozen articles about it.

    Posted by: no thanks | Aug 4, 2008 8:59:27 AM


  3. Is it really that shocking, the rise in gay/bi men? Have you been on X-Tube lately? You would think that there was never an AIDS crisis to begin with – 95% of the vids on there and other such sites like DudeVu (yeah, yeah I know – but my partner is out of town! What am I to do?) are barebacking clips. It’s astonishing, sickening and heartbreaking all in one.

    While I have little sympathy for anyone who becomes infected because of bareback sex (that’s like sympathizing with a smoker who contracts lung cancer – it’s, well…DUH!) it still pisses me off that there are so many arrogant, self-centered fags out there who bareback and are proud of it. It almost makes me wish that…well, never mind. I don’t really WISH it on anyone. But you can’t say it’s shocking. And it's pathetic.

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Aug 4, 2008 9:18:53 AM


  4. Kudos to Obama for saying "homophobia", but I note the religious agenda still makes it too scary to say "condoms". "CONDOMS" -- you can say it Barack! And IMHO, anyone who participates in, or purchases and supports, bareback porn is an accomplice to murder.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Aug 4, 2008 9:28:53 AM


  5. I partially Blame the Republicans/GOP/and Religions for thier "Abstinence ONLY" programs..which teach nothing!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Aug 4, 2008 9:31:53 AM


  6. "As president I AM committed to developing..." Whoa, can we at least wait until the fucking convention before he starts referring to himself as "the president"? (And yes, I read the actual statemnt on his weblog)

    Posted by: hill_w | Aug 4, 2008 9:44:03 AM


  7. I know the impact of the rising HIV rates, a 25 year old kid (and I do mean kid), recently told me he was infected by one of three guys his age. The other three do not want to get tested so my friend has no idea which one it is. Sad, sad, sad. I survived the 80's intact, too bad the younguns don't know our history.

    Posted by: davefromtampa | Aug 4, 2008 9:47:00 AM


  8. No thanks

    you have forgotten that mccain played the whole Obama on the dollar thing months ago, that a mccain campaigner said "Obama didn't play the race card, mccain did", Gergen saying that mccain is using code for "uppity"

    Axelord nor Obama has appologized. Axelord said Obama regrets its use but will not retract nor appologize even though mccain used it first months ago

    Hill W and what about mccain's commercial a while ago where he refers to himself as president already???

    Give it up already. mccain is not going to win.

    Talk about hopeless wishing, hypocricy, and lies

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Aug 4, 2008 9:48:18 AM


  9. I would hope that Ex-Gay Pastor Donnie McClurkin is brought on board Obama's AIDS Commission to offer freedom from homosexuality to all those afflicted.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Aug 4, 2008 9:57:34 AM


  10. It has been for years "a million Americans infected with HIV". Do a search on speeches and reports for the last 20+ years and it is always "a million Americans infected".

    Face it no one has a fucking clue how many people are infect. They like the sound of "a million". It's all bullshit.

    Drug companies make "millions" of drugs and cigarette cos make millions off cigarettes. It is all about bottom lines, NOT helping cure any diseases.

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Aug 4, 2008 10:03:47 AM


  11. It has been for years "a million Americans infected with HIV". Do a search on speeches and reports for the last 20+ years and it is always "a million Americans infected".

    Face it no one has a fucking clue how many people are infect. They like the sound of "a million". It's all bullshit.

    Drug companies make "millions" of drugs and cigarette cos make millions off cigarettes. It is all about bottom lines, NOT helping cure any diseases.

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Aug 4, 2008 10:05:00 AM


  12. Yay! The Log Cabin Uncle Marys are here!

    Posted by: MAJeff | Aug 4, 2008 10:06:06 AM


  13. The NYT has quotes that show why this happened:

    "Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was critical of the administration. “H.I.V. prevention has been underfunded and too often hindered by politics and ideology,” Mr. Waxman said in a statement released Saturday.

    He said the administration had reduced domestic spending against H.I.V. “Since fiscal year 2002, when adjusted for inflation, C.D.C.’s prevention budget has actually shrunk by 19 percent. The president has recently requested decreases in funding for H.I.V. prevention at C.D.C.”

    So we cut spending at home, where the epidemic is mostly in gay & African American communities, but spend billions in Africa, where it's safely "straight" and we can push anti-condom and abstinence-only education.

    And some people still want a Republican in office?

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Aug 4, 2008 10:13:48 AM


  14. The other shoe that dropped recently was that all our wonder meds for AIDS add only 13 years to the life expectancy of those infected. Thus, you go from about 15 years after infection to about 28. That may be ok if you are 60, but not when you are 20.

    On a brighter note, some countries in Europe have decided to pick up the tab to pay for some of the newer meds, thus slowing down the number of active cases there, though it took them long enough (national health care and all).

    Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2008 10:18:28 AM


  15. ...because it SHOULD scare you, InfiniteDomain, it should scare all of us; don't think, for a moment, that there isn't already a plan to "sequester" a certain "at risk" community -- should McCain win, prepare your camp gear.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Aug 4, 2008 10:30:09 AM


  16. Anon,

    Read that study again.

    It's conclusion was that over the past few years HAART had added ANOTHER 13 years to the average life expectancy of people with AIDS. That's another 13 ON TOP of the 35 or so years already quantified in a previous study. So in this country, the average life expectancy of someone newly infected is now 49 more years. A 20-year-old can expect to live, on average, to 69.

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 4, 2008 10:34:01 AM


  17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7523212.stm

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 4, 2008 10:51:19 AM


  18. HIV is entirely preventable and everyone knows it. The real problems is drugs. Most likely, crystal meth. So many gays grow up feeling ashamed of their sexuality, so to combat that, they go to circuit parties or clubs with a bunch of other hot, sweaty, shirtless guys and get high. Get high, meet a hot guy, and go and have bareback sex. Why protect yourself? You're just so high you don't care. Or you're so high you feel invincible. Or you're afraid that really hot guy won't want you if you insist on playing safe. Or you just don't like the way it feels and bare is so much hotter. Or maybe you're so high you can't get it up with a condom, so no condom. Target the real problem, drug use. And I seriously doubt any politician is going to go around talking about that any time soon.

    Posted by: TroyTooner | Aug 4, 2008 11:46:47 AM


  19. HIV is entirely preventable and everyone knows it. The real problems is drugs. Most likely, alcohol. So many gays grow up feeling ashamed of their sexuality, so to combat that, they go to bars or parties or clubs with a bunch of other hot guys—with or without shirts—and get drunk. Get drunk, meet a hot guy, and go and have bareback sex. Why protect yourself? You're just so drunk you don't care. Or you're so drunk you feel invincible. Or you're afraid that really hot guy won't want you if you insist on playing safe. Or you just don't like the way it feels and bare is so much hotter. Or maybe you're so drunk you can't get it up with a condom, so no condom. Target the real problem, alcohol use. And I seriously doubt any politician is going to go around talking about that any time soon.

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 4, 2008 12:06:26 PM


  20. Something doesn't jell with the numbers thrown around in that BBC article. Back in the 80's epidemiology determined that latency was 10 years followed by AIDS and death in another 5 years. When did this number increase to 35 years before the advent of anti-virals? From wiki:

    Without treatment, about 9 out of every 10 persons with HIV will progress to AIDS after 10-15 years. Many progress much sooner.[8] Treatment with anti-retrovirals increases the life expectancy of people infected with HIV. Even after HIV has progressed to diagnosable AIDS, the average survival time with antiretroviral therapy (as of 2005) is estimated to be more than 5 years.[9] Without antiretroviral therapy, death normally occurs within a year.[10] It is hoped that current and future treatments may allow HIV-infected individuals to achieve a life expectancy approaching that of the general public.

    ...

    One study suggests the average life expectancy of an HIV infected individual is 32 years from the time of infection if treatment is started when the CD4 count is 350/µL.[95] The study predicting this was, however, limited as it did not take into account possible future treatments and the projection has not been confirmed within a clinical cohort setting. In the absence of HAART, progression from HIV infection to AIDS has been observed to occur at a median of between nine to ten years and the median survival time after developing AIDS is only 9.2 months.[10] However, HAART sometimes achieves far less than optimal results, in some circumstances being effective in less than fifty percent of patients.

    -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV


    I think we are talking about the best possible outcomes, not typical outcomes.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2008 1:50:44 PM


  21. Anon,

    1) We're not talking about latency. We're talking about average life expectancy post-diagnosis. A study released last year calculated that a 20-year-old newly infected (with access to treatments and good healthcare) could expect to live, on average, another 35 years. This latest study ups that post-diagnosis life expectancy to 49 years, as clearly stated in the BBC article I posted.

    2) Wikipedia? For cutting-edge info on HIV? Really?

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 4, 2008 1:59:27 PM


  22. Before everyone starts picking out their favorite lube for the Throw Away the Condoms Party:

    "• Anti-HIV drugs are highly toxic and can cause serious side effects.... Many (perhaps even most) patients cannot tolerate long-term treatment with HAART.
    • HIV mutates quickly. Even among those who do well on HAART, roughly half of patients experience treatment failure within a year or two, often because the virus develops resistance to existing drugs. In fact, as many as 10 to 20 percent of newly infected Americans are acquiring viral strains that may already be resistant to current drugs.
    • Because treatment regimens are unpleasant and complex, many patients miss doses of their medication. Failure to take anti-HIV drugs on schedule and in the prescribed dosage encourages the development of new drug-resistant viral strains.
    • Even when patients respond well to treatment, HAART does not eradicate HIV. The virus continues to replicate at low levels and often remains hidden in "reservoirs" in the body, such as in the lymph nodes and brain.” – American Foundation for AIDS Research

    “According to the study, despite the overall increase in survival chances, a large gap in life expectancy remained between people on HAART and the general population. In developed countries, an HIV-positive person who begins treatment at age 20 will on average live another 43 years, while an HIV-negative person will survive to around age 80. The researchers noted that the mortality figures in the study are not detailed enough to explain the discrepancy. Given that most HIV-positive people are younger than age 50, there is no data to compare survival rates among older HIV-positive people with HIV-negative people. ... There has been great progress, but research needs to continue, especially for those who have developed resistance to some drugs and are running out of options.” – Kaiser Network; 7/28/08

    Raise your hand if YOU want to die in your early 60s after DECADES of any of the following assortment of AIDS meds-induced side effects: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, diabetes, neuropathy, heart damage, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, liver failure, kidney failure, not to mention those assets for finding your Own True Love: facial and extremity wasting while your breasts, stomach, and neck enlarge enough to make you look like Jabba the Hut with a "buffalo hump" on your back.

    The Bush Reich has been criminally negligent, but it's way past time the gay community got back to focusing on prevention efforts themselves and not just whining about the government or, worse, pretending that AIDS is over.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Aug 4, 2008 3:49:23 PM


  23. Jesus, Bedwell. When did AmFAR write those guidelines? 1999?

    In 2008:

    • Many (perhaps even most) people with HIV—especially those who were never subjected to suboptimal treatment pre-1996— are tolerating long-term treatment with HAART just fine.

    • While more and more people on treatment for a decade or longer of course means that an ever-increasing number of new infections involve virus that is resistant to one or more class of ant-HIV drug, three brand new classes of drugs have been approved since 2003 (two of those in the past year alone). Combine those three classes of drugs with the many options in one, two, or three of the previously approved classes, and virtually everyone infected today has a wealth of treatment options.

    • Because treatment regimens today are rarely unpleasant or complex—dosages are often smaller; few drugs need to be refrigerated or taken either with or without food; a majority of drugs can be taken just once a day; and more and more drug combinations are available in single pills—many people with HIV are finding adhering to their treatment regimen almost as simple as taking a daily multivitamin.

    • But yes, HAART still does not (and never will) eradicate HIV.


    Personally, I'd like to live to maybe 70 while experiencing as few of those side effects as possible. Eleven years into HAART, things are going swimmingly.

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 4, 2008 4:23:36 PM


  24. I don't know when the AMFAR quote was written only that it is still on their site. None of the first parts of the first sentences of your top 3 comments were found on Google, so we must assume they are your own subjective, lay characterizations. Still I wish you as long I life as you desire, entirely side effect free.

    As for that "wealth of options">

    From Reuters TODAY:

    "Landmark Global Survey of People Living with HIV and AIDS Shows Concerning
    Results that Side Effects are Leading Cause for U.S. Respondents to Discontinue or Switch Treatment Regimens. ... The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) released these and other ATLIS findings today at the 17th
    International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2008) in Mexico City, Mexico. ... Results from the U.S. portion of ATLIS show that concerns about side effects may prevent patients from recognizing the value of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Side effects were the most frequent reason (37.5 percent) U.S. respondents indicated they chose to discontinue treatment. Additionally, 27.3 percent of respondents reported that they had elected not to seek treatment because they believe that ART causes too many side effects. Further,
    respondents indicated that the most common reason for changing the ARV drugs
    in their treatment regimens was due to side effects (55.4 percent). Compared
    to all respondents, those in the U.S. voiced substantially more concern over
    many potential side effects."

    While there's reason to give the already infected informed choices, the subject of the thread was an alarming number of new infections not treatment availability, efficacies, liabilities and limitations. The larger point is that prevention is the answer for those not yet infected.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Aug 4, 2008 5:37:30 PM


  25. "Prevention is the answer for those not yet infected."

    Very true. Also: obvious.

    My point was that, as anyone involved in prevention efforts can tell you, instilling fear can be a useful prevention technique, but it has only limited effectiveness, which decreases markedly over time. We've been living in the Age of HIV for almost 25 years.

    Furthermore, if any of your fearsome statistics/generalizations are out of date—and therefore glaringly at odds with the reality people see all around them—the people you are trying to reach will discount everything you have to say, even the parts, such as the last bullet point, that are still timely and accurate.

    We need prevention techniques attuned to the reality on the ground today. Not to the reality, as you remember it, in 1986. Or 1996. Or even 2006.

    P.S. Why would you think people are going to change HAART regimens? Obviously, they're going to change for one of only two reasons: 1) the regimen is not suppressing the virus, or 2) the regimen has side effects they can't live with.

    And that large percentage of people who won't go on HAART because they're afraid of side effects? It's posts like yours that keep those people form getting the treatment they need—AND spur countless infections among their sex partners because their virus is not being suppressed. So you're killing people AND driving infection rate—all with a single post! (Yet you have the nerve to bad mouth bathhouse owners for spreading HIV.)

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 4, 2008 6:03:23 PM


  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment







Trending


« «Lindsay Lohan Calls Police Chief Outing 'Inappropriate', May Marry« «