FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHILADELPHIA – When NBA superstar Magic Johnson received an HIV diagnosis in 1991, he used the opportunity to create a platform for HIV/AIDS awareness. Despite the decades of work by Johnson and other HIV/AIDS activists, successfully convincing Americans to go for regular HIV testing remains a challenge for public health professionals though the AIDS epidemic continues. In the United States alone, between 35,000 and 40,000 people become infected with HIV every year.* Additionally, of the 1.2 million people currently living with HIV in this country, about 240,000 (20%) do not know that they are HIV positive.**
In commemoration of World AIDS Day on December 1st, PHMC is releasing startling new data from its Community Health Data Base 2010 Household Health Survey. The data show that, while many Pennsylvanians are getting testing for HIV, many more are not. “We want to urge every person to take the time to get tested for HIV,” says research associate Sarah Ingerman. “Together, we can defeat this epidemic.”
Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to comprise the most severely effected group, accounting for nearly half of the people in the United States living with HIV and recording more than half of (61% or an estimated 29,300 infections) of the new infections each year.*** Keeping this in mind, CHBD continues to partner with organizations that offer HIV testing, such as the Mazzoni Center, which offers a full array of LGBT-focused primary health care services, mental and behavioral health services, and LGBT legal services and an array of other programs to more than 30,000 individuals annually. “Through our collaboration with the Mazzoni Center, we hope to increase the rate of HIV testing in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” says Ingerman.
Data Analysis of Adults in Southeastern PA Never Tested for HIV
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HIV testing as part of routine medical exams for adults in the US, CHDB data show that in Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) nearly one-half (48.4%)of adults age 18 an older have never been tested for HIV, representing an estimated 1.4 million adults in the region. Additionally:
Data Analysis of Adults in Southeastern PA Tested for HIV
More than one-fifth of adults in SEPA (21.5%) have been tested for HIV within the past year, representing approximately 619,000 adults in the region. Additionally:
*CDC. 2008. Diagnoses of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/surveillance/resources/reports/2008report/index.htm
**CDC. 2011. HIV Surveillance—United States, 1981-2008. MMWR 60(21: 698-693.
***CDC Fact Sheet September 2011. HIV and AIDs among Gay and Bisexual Men.
Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base Household Health Survey is one of the largest regional health surveys in the country. The Pew Charitable Trusts, William Penn Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, United Way of North Penn, CIGNA Foundation, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, Philadelphia Foundation, North Penn Community Health Foundation, the Thomas Scattergood Foundation and over 350 local agencies from the health, government, nonprofit and academic sectors help to support CHDB. To view previous data news releases, please click here. For more information, please visit www.chdbdata.org.
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972.