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A medical assistant drawing blood from a patient for an HIV test in Miami in June 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

HIV-related deaths in the United States decreased significantly between 2010 and 2018 for all genders, ages, races and regions of the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report on Thursday.

The big picture: CDC researchers said in a new analysis that the decline is likely the result of improvements in diagnosing infections, treatment and medical care, but noted the data highlights higher death rates among women and people of color.

By the numbers: The overall death rate among people with HIV dropped by 36.6% from what it was in 2010.

  • The rate of deaths directly related to the virus decreased by 48.4% — from 9.1 deaths per 1,000 people with HIV to 4.7 per 1,000.

HIV infection rates and the number of associated deaths were greater among Black people and populations in Southern states compared to other races and regions.

  • "Higher levels of poverty, unemployment, and persons uninsured, challenges associated with accessing care, and HIV-related stigma likely affect timely diagnosis and access to treatment and contribute to higher rates of HIV-related deaths," the researchers wrote.
  • The proportion of HIV-related deaths among people between ages 13 and 44 years old who were diagnosed with the virus was higher than that among older people. This is likely because they can't access treatment or don’t regularly seek care, the CDC noted.

Of note: The CDC did not provide details on HIV testing or therapy over recent months, but "many facilities have shuttered their H.I.V. clinics or reported decreases in the number of people using their services" since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Times notes.

Go deeper

Dec 17, 2020 - Health

CDC: Drug overdose deaths accelerated during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An estimated 81,000 people died from a drug overdose between June 2019 and May 2020, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Thursday.

Why it matters: The provisional data suggests the pandemic accelerated overdose deaths.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.