Health Queer News

A Splash of Good News: HIV continues retreat in SF

The only good news to ever hear about HIV infection would be that there is a cure. But the encouraging news about the steady decline in new infections, i’ll take. Wrap it up men, don’t share needles and all the other stuff you know your not suppose. AIDS isn’t funny. There’s no other way to say it. Don’t try it at home.

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Researcher H. Fisher Raymond. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland

by Matthew S. Bajko

m.bajko@ebar.com

This year marks a decade-long retreat in new HIV cases in San Francisco. Between 2001 and 2011 the city has witnessed a steady decline in new infections.

Ten years ago the city estimated that more than 1,000 people would become infected with HIV, the large majority of whom were gay and bisexual men. Now San Francisco health researchers estimate there are 736 new HIV infections each year, according to the latest HIV Consensus Estimates.

The number could actually be as low as 621 new HIV cases per year. Due to statistical uncertainty, researchers in the city’s Department of Public Health Epidemiology Section advise that the “plausibility bounds” for new infections range from 534 cases at the low end to 977 cases at the upper end.

The city’s HIV incidence rate now stands at 0.09 percent, a 30.8 percent reduction in the rate since 2006. The city has also seen a 24.6 percent reduction in the number of cases over the last five years.

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