The first AIDS case in the United States was on June 2, 1981 – 30 years ago. Only one man name Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco, the first person in the world apparently cured of AIDS. has been reportly cured of the disease to date. People are living longer with HIV.
In the latest MMWR, CDC researchers say 1.17 million people in the United States are living with the virus and about 20% do not know they are infected.
What is disturbing is a lot of money has been raised, donated and spent trying to find a cure and still none exist today. About $16 billion a year is spent on AIDS in poor and middle-income countries. Half is generated locally and half is foreign aid.
Among key findings:
- In the first 14 years after the first cases of AIDS were reported in the U.S. in 1981, sharp increases were reported in the number of new AIDS diagnoses and deaths among people 13 and over.
- In 1992, the CDC says there were 75,457 new AIDS diagnoses, compared to 318 in 1981, and that deaths caused by the disease reached 50,628 in 1995, compared to 451 in 1981.
- CDC researchers say AIDS diagnoses dropped 45% between 1993 and 1998, from 75,263 to 41,462. AIDS deaths dropped 63% from 1995 to 1998, from 50,628 to 18,851.
- Between 1999 and 2008, AIDS diagnoses remained stable at an average of 38,279 per year. Deaths caused by AIDS averaged 17,489 per year during that time period.
- The CDC estimates that 594,496 people have died from AIDS since 1981.
According to the CDC, at the end of 2008, 75% of people living with HIV were men, and 65.7% of them were men who have sex with men.
HIV prevalence rates among African-Americans were about eight times that of whites. HIV prevalence rates for Hispanics or Latinos were about 2.5 times that of whites.
Among other key findings:
- People between ages 13 and 24 have the highest percentage of undiagnosed HIV, at 58.9%, compared to 31.5% for people aged 25-34, 18% among people 34-44, 13.8% for people 45-54, 11.9% for people 55-64, and 10.7% among people 65 and older.
- Greater percentages of undiagnosed HIV also were found among men with high-risk heterosexual contact, 25%, and men who have sex with men, 22.1%, than in other categories.
- Greater percentages of undiagnosed HIV also were observed among Asians or Pacific Islanders at 26% and American Indians or Alaska Natives at 25% than among African-Americans at 21.4%, whites at 18.5%, and Hispanics or Latinos at 18.9%.