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New Annual Report Shows Continued Progress on Decreasing HIV/AIDS, STDs, Hepatitis and TB in the District

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Annual Report Shows Continued Progress on Decreasing HIV/AIDS, STDs, Hepatitis and TB in the District

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and officials from the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) released a new report showing continued progress in the District’s fight against HIV infection and other diseases. In addition to the 2012 District of Columbia HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Epidemiology Annual Report, DOH officials also released a new study on men who have sex with men. 
 
“Addressing the HIV epidemic in the District has been a top priority for me from the beginning of my administration,” said Mayor Gray. “I am proud that we have made progress, but will not rest until we get to zero HIV infections in the District.”
 
The DOH reports released today provide the annual update on the state of HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and tuberculosis (TB) in the District through the end of 2011 and a more in-depth look at how behavioral risk factors contribute to HIV infection among men who have sex with men. This latest snapshot of the epidemic shows that the District continues to make progress in reducing new cases and improving health outcomes for those infected with HIV. 
 
“The District continues to lead the way in getting people diagnosed with HIV infection earlier and connected with care through our treatment-on-demand policy,” Mayor Gray said. “I will continue to look to the Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS for community and health expertise to improve our response to HIV.”
 
This year’s annual report highlights improvements from previous years, such as:

Epidemiological Summary
 
  • 15,056 residents of the District of Columbia (2.4 percent of the population) are living with HIV. 
  • To date, there have been no reports of a child born with HIV infection in 2011.
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual contact are the two leading transmission modes reported among newly diagnosed and identified HIV cases.
  • The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the District decreased to 718 cases in 2011, a decline of 46 percent from 1,333 new cases in 2007.
  • There was an 80 percent decrease in the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases where the reported mode of transmission was injection drug use, from 149 cases in 2007 (prior to the scale-up of the District’s needle-exchange program) to 30 in 2011.
  • The number of reports of newly diagnosed AIDS cases decreased 47 percent, from 682 in 2007 to 363 in 2011.
  • The number of deaths among persons with HIV decreased by 41 percent, from 425 in 2007 to 251 in 2011.
  • There were reports of 6,584 new cases of chlamydia, 2,572 new cases of gonorrhea and 165 new cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported.
  • There were reports of 2,924 cases of hepatitis B and 13,520 cases of hepatitis C diagnosed between 2007 and 2011.
  • 55 new cases of TB were reported in 2011.
  • Of those newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011, 80 percent were linked to care with three months – compared to 50 percent who were linked to care within three months of diagnosis in 2005.
  • Two children were born with HIV between 2009 and 2010. DOH is launching a new initiative to prevent further births of babies with HIV. The initiative includes:
  • A new requirement for medical providers to report when a woman living with HIV is pregnant; 
  • Additional support services for pregnant women with HIV;
  • Enhanced communication with medical providers and community partners on screening recommendations, linkage to care and support for women to deliver babies who are HIV free.
 
Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) 
 
  • Of the study participants, 12 percent tested HIV positive
  • About 1 in 4 (23 percent) of persons testing HIV positive in the 2011 MSM study were unaware of their diagnosis, which is an improvement from the 41 percent in the prior study (2008).
 
Clinical Supplemental Data
 
  • For persons receiving HIV care through the Ryan White Program, the average rate of viral-load suppression was 69 percent. 
  • The average CD4 count (measurements of the immune system’s T-cells) at diagnosis has increased 22 percent, from 332 in 2007 to 406 in 2011. This the highest average level recorded.

Program Achievements

  •  DOH gave or provided funding for 138,000 HIV tests in 2012, up from 122,000 in 2011 and more than triple the 43,000 tests in 2007. 
  •  DOH distributed more than 5.7 million male and female condoms in 2012, a 10-fold increase from 2007. 
  •  Through the District’s needle-exchange programs 550,000 previously used needles were removed from the street in 2012 – an increase from 340,000 in 2011.
  • In 2012, DOH provided health information to nearly 5,000 District high-school students and screening to more than 3,000. In the 2013/2014, we will be offering HIV testing in select schools.
  • DOH launched a new hepatitis information campaign and is now offering hepatitis C screening at its STD clinic.
 
New Web-Based HIV/STD Data
DOH is launching a new way for the community and public to access data on HIV and STDs in the District. The Web-based service will enable people to look at trends in HIV and other STDs over several years and can be filtered by categories such as age, race/ethnicity, and gender. The data will only provide aggregate numbers and not names or other identifying information for individuals with HIV and STDs.
 
The epidemiology annual report and the MSM study are available on the DOH web site at http://www.doh.dc.gov/hahsta .