Mobile Version - January - February 2018

From the Director Dr. Jonathan Mermin

Prompt HIV diagnosis is prevention. It is the first step to protecting people living with HIV and their partners. We are seeing progress in reducing the time between infection and diagnosis, but half of people who received an HIV diagnosis in 2015 had been living with the virus for at least 3 years. The November/December Vital Signs on HIV testing calls for increased routine and targeted testing to reduce these diagnosis delays. Health care providers can increase HIV testing by talking routinely about HIV and STD risks with their patients, offering opt-out testing to everyone aged 13 to 64 to help ensure everyone in this age group is tested at least once in their lifetime, and testing people at high risk at least once a year, if not more often. The Vital Signs report provides clear steps we can take to shorten the time between infection and diagnosis to protect the health of those living with HIV and reduce new infections.

Acute Hepatitis C Virus and Injection Drug Use

CDC published a new analysis in the American Journal of Public Health titled, Increases in Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection Related to a Growing Opioid Epidemic and Associated Injection Drug Use, United States, 2004-2014. Between 2004-2014, there were significant and simultaneous national increases in both annual incidence rate of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) and reported injection of opioids among people admitted to substance use disorder treatment. This research shows that the recent increase in cases of new HCV infection is strongly tied to increased opioid injections. This correlation was observed not only at a national level, but also when data were analyzed by state, age, race, and ethnicity, suggesting a close relationship between the two trends. By testing for HCV infection in people who inject drugs, treating those who test positive, and preventing new transmissions, we can mitigate some of the effects of the nation´s devastating opioid crisis and save lives.

High-Impact Prevention (HIP) Website

High-Impact Prevention (HIP) is a public health approach to disease prevention in which proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions are evaluated and implemented to prevent the greatest amount of disease or disparities. It provides a strategy for using data to maximize the impact of available resources and interventions. The primary goals of HIP are to prevent the largest number of new infections, save life-years, and reduce disparities among populations. In this approach to disease prevention, resources are aligned with disease burden in geographic areas and within populations. CDC recently launched a new HIP website that highlights the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention´s work in this area and provides valuable information to partners and others working in public health.