Mobile Version - July - August 2021

From the Director - Dr. Jonathan Mermin

CDC's 2019 Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report includes new data for hepatitis B and C. The report now provides demographic characteristics of persons with chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions. There was a 51% increase of hepatitis A infections, from 24,900 estimated infections in 2018 to 37,700 estimated infections in 2019, primarily due to person-to-person outbreaks occurring among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness. The report points out notable increases in acute hepatitis C incidence. Injection drug use remains the primary risk behavior identified among persons with acute hepatitis C. The number of reported acute hepatitis B cases remained stable from 2018 to 2019, as it has over the last decade.

Additionally, CDC's 2021 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report provides information on progress in implementing the recommended interventions and the impact these interventions are having on preventing viral hepatitis transmission, disease, and associated mortality. The incidence of new hepatitis B virus infections met the annual target for the first time in 2019, moving closer to the national goal. However, incidence of new hepatitis C virus infections increased.

New HIV Surveillance Reports

CDC published three new reports: Estimated HIV Incidence and Prevalence in the United States, 2015-2019, Monitoring Selected National HIV Prevention and Care Objectives by Using HIV Surveillance Data—United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2019, and Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2019.

Data show hopeful signs of progress in HIV prevention in recent years, with new HIV infections falling 8% from 2015 to 2019, after a period of general stability in new infections in the United States.

Reflections on 40 years of HIV

Although the CDC museum in Atlanta, Georgia is still closed to the public, I invite you to visit the virtual exhibit marking the 40th anniversary of the first MMWR reporting HIV. Along with updates to the 40 Years of Progress exhibit, other activities honoring this anniversary include the following:

  • Director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis's commentary titled "The Lack of Equitable Access to HIV Prevention and Treatment"
  • Dr. Daskalakis and White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) Director, Dr. Harold Phillips on the current state of HIV on I-heart Radio, and;
  • My Live with Leadership discussion with Dr. Laura Cheever, the Associate Administrator for the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration.