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In 2011, 15,056 District residents, or 2.4 percent of the entire population, were living with HIV or AIDS and 718 new cases of HIV were reported, an improvement in a city that has historically been ranked as having the highest prevalence of the disease in the nation, according to an annual report released by the mayor’s office today.

Some highlights from the 2012 District of Columbia HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Epidemiology Annual Report:

  • The reported found the number of newly diagnosed HIV decreased from 1,333 new cases in 2007 to 718 in 2011, a decline of 46 percent.
  • The leading cause of HIV transmission was sexual contact between heterosexual and same-sex partners.
  • There was an 80 percent decrease in the number of HIV cases caused by injected drugs with needles, from 149 cases in 2007 (before the District’s needle-exchange program began) to 30 in 2011.
  • Blacks make up just under half of District residents, but account for more than three
    quarters (75.1%) of all HIV cases.
  • 5.4 percent of black males in the District were living with HIV in 2011, compared with  2.2 percent of white males.
  • There were no reports of a child born with the infection in 2011 and the number of deaths of people with HIV decreased by 41 percent from 2007 to 2011, from 425 to 251.
  • Similarly, the number of reports of new AIDS cases decreased by 47 percent, from 682 in 2007 to 363 in 2011.
  • There were reports of 6,584 new cases of chlamydia, 2,572 new cases of gonorrhea, and 165 new cases
    of primary and secondary syphilis reported.

Unrelated to the District report released today, the New Republic first pointed out this morning a set of interactive maps from AIDSVu (an initiative of Emory University’s public health school) that convey the grim reality that 92 percent of new HIV cases diagnosed nationally between 2008 and 2011 were located in just 25 counties.

While the widespread prevalence of the disease has impacted more than just an isolated number of neighborhoods in D.C.,  the trends aren’t all that different.

According to the AIDSVu maps, in D.C. 3,970 people were diagnosed with HIV between 2008 and 2011. AIDSVu doesn’t break down data on new diagnoses any further, but the D.C. government report shows that Ward 8 residents had the highest rate of new diagnoses in 2011. And the AIDSVu maps do break down the total number of people living with HIV and AIDS in 2010 by zip code. Some data points:

  • The 20001 zip code—-which covers the Shaw and Bloomingdale neighborhoods—-had the highest prevalence of HIV in 2010, with 3,683 people of every 100,000  living with a diagnosis, or 1,300 people.
  • The 20002 area code, covering a chunk of Ward 5, isn’t far behind, with 3,631 people of every 100,000 living with a diagnosis, or 1,659 people. Zip codes in Southeast and Southwest are seeing similar statistics.
  • The zip codes in the upper Northwest portion of the city have the lowest rates of HIV or AIDS by a long shot (not including the sparsely populated downtown areas.)
  • The 20015 area code, which covers parts of Chevy Chase and Friendship Heights, has one of the lowest HIV rates, with 416 people of every 100,000, or 53 people living with a diagnosis.

AIDSVu allows users to breakdown the HIV prevalence map further by race and socioeconomic status, and the stats show that, like the rest of the nation, poor and African-American communities are hit hardest by the disease.

Check out the maps here.

Photo via Trygve.u, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0