In 2017, more than 16,000 people living with HIV died, and around 5,500 of those deaths were from HIV-related causes, placing the virus among the top 10 causes of death in some groups.
“There is still work to be done,” said Karin Bosh, the CDC epidemiologist who led the study.
The earlier the diagnosis is made, the sooner people can get prolonged care and treatment and suppress the virus in their bodies, said Dr Bosh. For example, the proportion of young people who die from HIV is higher than older people because younger people are less likely to have continued access to care, or because they do not have health insurance, or because they do not seek care regularly.
“This is worrying because HIV deaths are preventable,” said Dr Bosh.
The lack of improvement in deaths from other causes is of particular concern for women and drug addicts, other experts said.
“It really speaks to the things that we think work in public health – community mobilization and engagement,” said Dr. Eileen Scully, infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. “And that’s not how the epidemic has been among women in the United States.”
Unlike gay men, women with HIV “come from different walks of life” and are often disconnected from support networks, she said. “We still have a lot of work to do, both to build trust and to integrate minority women in particular into the health system so that they feel safe and supported.
Race has also played a disproportionate role in HIV deaths, with the highest rates among blacks or those of several races.
Dr Marrazzo compared the high numbers in the southern United States to the “global south” – resource-poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere that also face issues of stigma and opaque sexual networks, especially among men. black homosexuals.