ICYMI The Boston Globe published a story about falling HIV rates in this article. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (read the press release here) shows a 12% drop in estimated new HIV infections nationally between 2017 and 2021 and a 34% decrease in new infections among people between the ages of 13 and 24, who make up the bulk of new cases.
Even though all groups saw a drop in HIV rates, the decreases were smaller in Hispanic / Latino and Black / African American communities.
Locally, the news in Massachusetts is even better with the State seeing a decline of 15.7% (vs. 12% Nationally). State Senator Julian Cyr points to the numerous HIV prevention and care policies the state has enacted over the past 20 years, as the reason Massachusetts continues to see fewer infections and AIDS-related deaths.
Disparities with the State’s Hispanic / Latino and Black / African American communities mirror those seen nationally. Gary Daffin, executive director of the Multicultural AIDS Coalition in Roxbury said rates of infection continue to remain higher with younger men of color who have sex with men because of social stigma about their sexuality in their communities, access to care, and the need to have a prescription to receive PrEP.
Hopefully, this trend will continue and we can one day speak of HIV/AIDS in the past tense.