HIV Prevention Saves Lives

The case for preventative measures for HIV is laid out in this article. Use this resource to raise HIV/AIDS awareness.
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Updated on: October 20, 2004
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HIV Prevention Saves Lives

Overwhelming evidence proves that HIV prevention efforts have saved countless lives, both in the U.S. and worldwide:

  • Prevention efforts have helped slow the rate of new infections in the U.S. from over 150,000 per year in the late 1980s to 40,000 today.
  • HIV prevalence among young white men in the U.S. declined by 50% between 1988 and 1993. Occurring at a time of high overall HIV prevalence, this decline marks a notable prevention success.
  • Prevention efforts in New York City have contributed to a drop in HIV prevalence among injection-drug users in drug treatment from almost 34% in 1990 to just over 4% in 1998.
  • The number of U.S. infants who acquire AIDS through mother-to-child transmission has declined 73% from 1992 through 1998.
  • Concentrated prevention efforts have turned around HIV epidemics in Uganda (where AIDS cases in urban areas have fallen by 50% since 1996) and Thailand, and have prevented an expected epidemic in Senegal.

Fighting HIV where it's hitting hardest

The CDC directs the largest portion of its HIV prevention efforts to the African-American communities that have been hardest hit by HIV/AIDS:

  • AIDS is the leading cause of death among African-Americans ages 25-44.
  • African-Americans represent an estimated 13% of the U.S. population, yet they are believed to represent half of new HIV infections.
  • Among African-Americans, young gay men and young heterosexual women are hardest hit.
Since 1987, CDC has steadily built and supported innovative programs in African-American communities through national, regional and local organizations, including community and faith-based organizations. CDC also continues to work with Latino communities and others hard hit by the epidemic to build and sustain effective prevention programs.

More critical than ever

There is still no cure for AIDS, and an estimated 40,000 Americans become infected with HIV every year. With recent advances in treatment, more people are living with HIV infection and AIDS. This means there is an increasing need for prevention efforts to help those infected maintain safer behaviors and to help others at risk stay uninfected.

More diverse than ever

Prevention efforts are aggressively targeting a wider range of communities than ever before, including gay men of color, African-American and Hispanic women, white gay men, injection-drug users, and adolescents as they come of age.

More hope than ever

We are entering a new era in HIV prevention, one in which scientific research provides cutting-edge behavioral and biomedical approaches to prevention. Effective risk-reduction strategies, combined with new treatments for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, offer more hope than ever of further reducing the spread of HIV.

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