HIV Infections Underreported By 40%

t_help_hiv-2.jpg
Let’s start with the bad news, shall we?

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta this weekend revealed that previous HIV infection stats were underreported by 40%.

[CDC] found that 56,300 people became newly infected with H.I.V in 2006, compared with the 40,000 figure the agency has cited as the recent annual incidence of the disease.

The findings confirm that H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, has its greatest effect among gay and bisexual men of all races (53 percent of all new infections) and among African-American men and women.

Bummer.

Obviously distressed by the numbers, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama released the following statement:

These new figures should bring new focus to our efforts to address AIDS and HIV here at home.

As president, I am committed to developing a National AIDS Strategy to decrease new HIV infections and improve health outcomes for Americans living with HIV/AIDS. Across the nation, we also need to prevent the spread of HIV and get people into treatment by expanding access to testing and comprehensive education programs. This report also demonstrates the need for more timely data about HIV transmission so that we can effectively evaluate prevention efforts.

Republican rival John McCain also released a statement, saying that we must work toward “promoting prevention efforts, encouraging testing, targeting communities with high infection rates, strengthening research and reducing disparities through effective public outreach.” McCain went on to say that “we as a nation” can overcome HIV/AIDS.