D.C. HIV/AIDS Report Reveals Fewer Deaths

Dorothy Rowley | 6/27/2012, 11:12 a.m.

Also, since 2009, there have been no children born with HIV in the District. Gray said that while the number of new AIDS-related cases in the District decreased last year by 32 percent, the number of deaths among individuals who died after 2006 decreased by half - from 399 to 207. He said there was a 24 percent reduction in the number of people diagnosed, and that cases fell last year from 1,103 to 835 cases. In addition, some 4,300 young people were tested in the same time frame for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Gray also said that the health department distributed five million condoms in 2011. "We know that [the use of condoms] is a great prevention technique," Gray said. "As a result, it's a 10-fold increase from 2007," he said. "There was a point in the city when we were fearful that injection drug use was about to match sexual activity as a cause of transmission of the [HIV] virus."

However, "The number of cases through IV drug use is down to below 100 at this stage, based on the most recent data that we have." Akhter said "it's wonderful" to see the strides the District has made. "The number of new cases are going down and they've been going down steadily. At this time, there are 835 new cases in the District, but they are 835 cases too many," he said.

Pappas praised the report's findings, insisting that leadership and commitment play a vital role getting the numbers down. But he also alluded to the shift in the District's population, saying that has had a lot to do with a decrease in cases. "We've had fewer deaths [from AIDS], but that number [is] going down," Pappas said. "It's a statistical anomaly . . . that is part of a national trend."