Fewer people diagnosed with HIV in 2016, an ongoing trend for San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) Fewer people are being diagnosed with HIV in San Francisco, an ongoing trend, according to a new report from the San Francisco Health Department.

New HIV diagnoses in San Francisco declined from 265 cases in 2015 to a record low of 223 in 2016, down from a high of 2,332 at the peak of the epidemic in 1992, the health department said today.

This is a 16 percent reduction in new HIV diagnoses overall in 2016 in the city compared to the previous year, according to the healthdepartment. Such diagnoses declined by 18 percent nationally over the last six years, from 2008 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The city's Getting to Zero consortium, a coalition of groups, individuals and activists, has been working since 2014 to achieve the goal of zero new HIV infections. The health department gave credit to the group for
the good news announced Friday.

"New HIV infections in San Francisco are declining at a faster rate than ever, and the city continues to do better than the nation in reducing new infections," Barbara Garcia, the city's director of health, said
in a statement.

One of the most troubling aspects of the epidemic, the disparity between new infections in white men and men of color, appears to be closing, according to the health department.

"Infections are dropping among all groups, including African American and Latino men, and we are starting to close the disparity gap," Garcia said. "It is essential that we focus on disparities in order to get to
zero."

African American men have the highest new HIV diagnosis rate in San Francisco, at 96 cases per 100,000 population in 2016, the health department said. In comparison, 39 such cases were diagnosed per 100,000
among white men in San Francisco in 2016.

This number is arrived at by dividing the number of African American men diagnosed with HIV in 2016 by the number of African American men in San Francisco based on U.S. census information.

Latino men in San Francisco have a new HIV diagnosis rate of 77 per 100,000 population, down from 85 in 2015, the department said.

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