FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 21, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford –The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced state data estimating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) incidence in
The CDC recently published national HIV incidence estimates for 2006 are based on data from 22 sites, including
“The new incidence estimates are valuable because they provide a clearer understanding of who is most at risk,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “This data also suggests there is still significant transmission of HIV occurring due to unsafe sex and injection drug use.”
The national data show that there has been an increase in infections among gay men since the mid 90s. Fifty-three percent of 2006 infections occurred in this population. Notably, blacks were shown to be seven times more likely to be infected than whites with Hispanics at an almost three-fold higher risk.
“We know that science-based prevention interventions and testing work in helping to prevent the spread of HIV,” stated Dr. Galvin. “These prevention efforts will need to be consistent, vigorously applied, and targeted to those individuals at the highest risk to be the most effective.”
Such high risk of infection in minority populations and gay men is of particular concern and requires creative prevention efforts at the national, state, and local level. Dr. Galvin emphasized “to have the greatest impact we must continue to offer services that we know prevent HIV infection, like needle exchange and distribution of condoms.”
For more information about HIV and AIDS and a link to the CDC findings, visit the DPH web site at www.ct.gov/dph and click “Programs and Services” then click the “HIV/AIDS” program link, or call 509-7900.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.