AIDS-related sickness in the United States has decreased dramatically since the development of antiretroviral drugs in the mid-1990s. Still, HIV infection and AIDS remain among the nation’s leading causes of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 48,100 new infections in the U.S. in 2009. Though that number is down from its peak in the 1980s, the California Department of Public Health says that about 40% of people test late in their illness and progress to AIDS within a year of HIV diagnosis.
HIV has a disproportionate impact on certain populations. Though Blacks and Latinos make up about 27% of the U.S. population, they account for 62% of new HIV infections. Women – particularly women of color – make up an increasingly larger share of positive people. Black women accounted for 65% of new AIDS cases among women in 2007 (CDC, 2009). Gay and bisexual men are also at high risk for HIV. They accounted for 53% of new HIV infections in 2006 and are the only group for whom new infections are rising (CDC, 2008).
AHF in the United States
AHF was founded in the United States in 1987, and has been at the forefront of the response to the AIDS epidemic ever since. Our work to end the AIDS epidemic by every available means has led us to become the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the country.
Our healthcare centers offer thousands of clients – many of them uninsured – the finest HIV-centered primary care, and our pharmacies specialize in HIV medications. Our researchers conduct trials of the newest drugs and treatment protocols to improve patient quality of life. Through Positive Healthcare, our managed care program in California and Florida, we provide HIV positive Medicaid recipients extra tools to manage their disease.
To aid in prevention, AHF distributes free condoms, performs outreach and leads creative media campaigns. We also conduct HIV counseling and tests through alternative venues, such as our Out of the Closet Thrift Stores and mobile units, helping over 14,000 people learn their status each year.
From our inception, AHF has been a strong advocate for people living with HIV and AIDS. We have a long history of successful grassroots advocacy, lobbying and public policy work at every level of the government and across industries.
- Population: 317.6 million
- People living with HIV: 1.2 million
Statistics from UNAIDS.org, 2011, unless otherwise stated.