Report: HIV More Prevalent in Men Ages 18-49 than Women

Approximately half of 1 percent (0.47 percent) of the U.S. household population between the ages of 18 and 49 are living with HIV, according to estimates from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics based on surveys conducted between 1999-2006. The findings are summarized in a CDC Data Brief issued this week, which uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to provide a snapshot of HIV prevalence in the general U.S. household population ages 18-49.

NHANES does not focus exclusively on populations that may be at high risk for HIV, such as men who have sex with men, injection drug users, or homeless or incarcerated individuals. These data are roughly equivalent to NCHS' previous prevalence estimate for this population from a 1988-94 survey. Key findings on HIV prevalence in 1999-2006 include:

  • Men ages 18-49 are more likely to be infected (0.7 percent) than women (0.2 percent).
  • Two percent of non-Hispanic black adults ages 18-49 were infected with HIV compared to 0.23 percent of white adults and 0.3 percent of Mexican-American adults.
  • Adults aged 18-49 who are infected with the herpes simplex type 2 virus (HSV-2) are more than 15 times likely to also be infected with HIV. An estimated 2 percent of HSV-2 positive adults ages 18-49 also have HIV.

This report does not include data on the number of individuals newly infected with HIV, known as incidence. New CDC estimates of annual HIV incidence are currently under development by CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).

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