Health Team

New N.C. HIV infections: 2,200 in 2006

Posted August 5, 2008 6:47 p.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2008 7:07 p.m. EDT

— According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2,200 people statewide became infected with the virus during 2006. The new estimates of recent HIV infections include individuals who may be unaware of their HIV status.

The estimates are based on a sample of people tested for HIV, the use of an additional lab test and a complex statistical modeling approach.

Officials from CDC and North Carolina are working to create population-specific estimates for state data. A breakdown of population-specific data for North Carolina will be released in the near future.

The estimate of new HIV infections, combined with existing HIV/AIDS surveillance data, will enable the North Carolina Communicable Disease Branch to better understand populations impacted by HIV and how to respond by more effectively focusing prevention efforts.

Nationally,the CDC estimates that in 2006, 73 percent of the newly infected persons were male, 45 percent were black, 15 percent were Hispanic, and 53 percent were among men who had sex with other men.

According to Delbert Williams, head of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Unit of the N.C. Division of Public Health, the distribution of estimated infections in North Carolina is expected to be similar to that reported nationally, except North Carolina will likely have a greater proportion of HIV infections diagnosed in the black population than is seen nationally.