Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the United States with an Emphasis on Demographic Analysis
Public spending on AIDS had reached tens of billions of dollars by early 1990s, with these costs including medical care, research, education, and blood screening.
Now there had been approximately 150,000 reported cases of AIDS, and estimates of between 800,000 and 1.2 million individuals diagnosed with HIV. Spatial-analytic analyses of the diffusion and distribution of AIDS in the United States have indicated that AIDS during the early 1980s was concentrated in major metropolitan areas in California, New York/ New Jersey/ Connecticut/ Rhode Island, and Florida, and has since spread outward from these core areas. Large cities in the United States have become central in the developing characterization of AIDS. Reported AIDS cases in the metropolitan areas of New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and Washington, DC, account for nearly one-third of all cases nationally (Appendix A).
From tracking and analyzing epidemiological information over time, researchers and policy-makers have concluded that AIDS can only be transmitted through sexual contact, exposure to infected blood or infected tissue such as through needle sharing, infected blood products, or transplantation, or parentally. Following these conclusions, policy-makers and service providers have attempted to dispel widely held myths concerning the potential for AIDS transmission via casual and non-sexual contact and insect bites. Epidemiological data have continued largely to characterize AIDS as critical for men who have sex with men and injecting drug users. over eight in ten of the cumulative reported AIDS cases nationwide have occurred between these two groups (Appendix A).
With the rise in the numbers of individuals diagnosed HIV positive or living with AIDS, the nation has also witnessed an increasing diversity in the epidemiology of AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) tracking of reported AIDS cases has indicated that, while the epidemiology of AIDS remains largely defined through the two behavioral categories of male homosexual/bisexual contact and intravenous/injecting substance use, there has also been an increasing incidence of AIDS among newly emerging at risk groups, particularly women and individuals of color. For women, intravenous/injecting drug use and heterosexual transmission have constituted the primary modes of transmission, while children have contracted AIDS primarily through prenatal exposure. Studies of reported cases to the CDC have also indicated that African Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately at risk of contracting AIDS, considering their representation in the United States population and compared to the White non-Hispanic population.
Race in particular has become a potent factor in the contemporary and changing portrait of AIDS. The emphasis on race as a significant indicator of AIDS transmission and as a descriptor of AIDS epidemiology reflects the ongoing radicalization of the condition. But while there has been a growing emphasis on the connections between race and AIDS incidence, the risk of AIDS has not remained confined to any particular group. Populations, for example, once thought to be at little risk of contracti