Stories

People with untreated HIV transmitted 80% of new infections

The vast majority of new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2016 were transmitted from the less than 40% of people with HIV who either did not know they had the virus or were not receiving care, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control.

Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The big picture: The HIV transmission rate has been steadily falling as a higher share of people with HIV have received treatment, the report shows. People who were infected, but unaware they had the virus, had the highest rates of transmission, while those who have been virally suppressed through care accounted for no transmissions.

  • "Today, we have the tools to end the HIV epidemic. But a tool is only useful if it’s in someone’s hands," said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.