Report: New HIV cases down 46 percent in D.C.

WASHINGTON — The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the District decreased by 46 percent from 2007 to 2011, according to a new Department of Health study.

According to the report, released Tuesday by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s office, more than 15,000 residents are living with the virus. But the declining numbers show that “HIV and AIDS is no longer a death sentence,” Gray said at a news conference, DCist reports.

“Addressing the HIV epidemic in the District has been a top priority for me from the beginning of my administration,” Gray says in a statement. “I am proud that we have made progress, but will not rest until we get to zero HIV infections in the District.”

There was also an 80 percent decrease in the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases from intravenous drug use, and a 41 percent decrease in the number of HIV-related deaths.

Of those diagnosed with the virus, 80 percent reportedly received medical care within three months. In 2005, only 50 percent received immediate attention.

Nationwide, more than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, the Center for Disease Control reports. Almost one-in-five people do not know they are carrying the infection.

The Department of Health’s annual study looked at the state of HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis in the District through the end of 2011.

Click on the interactive map by AIDSVu to see how many cases of HIV are reported in your area.

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