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More than 1 in 8 Americans with HIV unaware

Roughly 13 percent of the 1.2 million Americans with HIV have not been diagnosed.

By
Stephen Feller
More than 150,000 people in the U.S. have HIV but haven't been diagnosed. Photo: Jarun Ontakrai/Shutterstock
More than 150,000 people in the U.S. have HIV but haven't been diagnosed. Photo: Jarun Ontakrai/Shutterstock

ATLANTA, June 25 (UPI) -- Of the 1.2 million Americans living with the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, one out of every eight has not been diagnosed.

Roughly 87 percent of people in the United States who have HIV have been diagnosed, close to the goal of 90 percent by 2015 set by President Barack Obama as part of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010.

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Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii and New York have already met the goal, Colorado is at 89.7 percent and seven other states -- Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont -- met the goal but didn't have enough new HIV cases in recent years for researchers to consider estimates statistically reliable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Using data reported to the CDC, researchers estimated the annual number of HIV diagnoses for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Overall prevalence of HIV was based on the estimated number of deaths each year among those infected from the estimated number of infections that year. Estimations of undiagnosed HIV infections was then figured by subtracting the dumber of diagnosed living people from the number of over people estimated to have the virus.

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The researchers also considered states with less than 60 diagnoses per year between 2008 and 2012 to be numerically unstable because of people moving and errors in reporting, which was the issue with states such as Alaska, Vermont and Montana that have smaller populations.

Based on the researchers' estimates, there are 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV; 156,300 have not been diagnosed. In the 42 states considered to have numerically stable estimates, diagnosis awareness ranged from 77 percent in Louisiana, the lowest among all states, to 93 percent in Hawaii.

The principal way of increasing awareness of diagnosis has been to expand testing centers in areas with lower estimates of awareness, according to the report.

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