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AIDS prevention efforts help avert associated medical costs.
By adopting extensive prevention efforts, the United States has prevented an estimated 350,000 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and averted $125 billion in medical costs. Although HIV fell from the list of top 10 leading causes of death domestically in 1997, it remains a public health concern.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 56,000 people become infected annually—that’s one person every 9.5 minutes. Approximately 1.1 million Americans live with the virus, although only 25 percent know they have the disease. The rate of infection among racial and ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men is disproportionately high. African Americans accounted for 45 percent of all new HIV diagnoses, although they represent only 13 percent of the U.S. population. In fact, one in 16 African American men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Men who have sex with men account for 48 percent of those living with HIV and 53 percent of newly diagnosed HIV cases. They represent the only groups deemed at high risk for exposure in which the new infection rate is increasing, and African American men who have sex with men accounted for 52 percent of all new infections reported.
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