CDC Sitting On Startling Numbers

HIV Infections On The Rise?

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Sexually transmitted diseases are having a ball at humanity’s expense. Not only have nasty bugs like syphilis and chlamydia seen a recent resurgence, but it appears HIV’s making more headway than some would like to admit:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is mulling over when to release alarming new statistics showing that as many as 50 percent more people are being infected with HIV each year in the United States than originally reported by the government.

According to AIDS advocacy groups familiar with the CDC, middle level officials at the disease prevention agency have quietly confided in colleagues in professional and scientific circles that the number of new HIV infections now appears to be as high as 58,000 to 63,000 cases in the most recent 12-month period.

On its web site this week, the CDC left unchanged its longstanding estimate that about 40,000 Americans per year become infected with HIV, a figure it says has remained “relatively stable” for most of the past decade.

“Relatively stable” and “HIV” ain’t the best combination, if you ask us…

Internal CDC sources can’t confirm when or where the data will be published, but some are questioning the data’s severity and meaning:

Two sources familiar with the CDC, who spoke on condition that they not be identified, said CDC officials have said privately that the higher numbers of HIV cases appear to be driven by more rigorous and accurate HIV reporting by the states of existing cases rather than by an actual increase in the number of new cases.

New federal rules requiring states to keep track of the names of everyone who tests positive for HIV took effect in most states in January.

Let’s hope the spike’s a result of better data maintenance, because a 50 percent annual increase could spell doom for all of our futures.