Undiagnosed HIV prevalence among adults and adolescents in the United States at the end of 2006

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Apr;53(5):619-24. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181bf1c45.


Objectives: To describe adults/adolescents (age 13 years and older) living with undiagnosed HIV infection in the United States at the end of 2006.

Methods: HIV prevalence and percentage undiagnosed were estimated from cumulative HIV incidence using an extended back-calculation model (using both HIV and AIDS data, the time of first diagnosis with HIV, and disease severity at diagnosis) and estimated cumulative deaths.

Results: An estimated 1,106,400 adults/adolescents (95% confidence interval = 1,056,400-1,156,400) were living with HIV in the United States at the end of 2006; overall, 21.0% (232,700; 95% confidence interval = 221,200-244,200) were undiagnosed. Whites had the lowest percentage undiagnosed (18.8%) compared with Hispanics/Latinos (21.6%), blacks/African Americans (22.2%), American Indians/Alaska Natives (25.8%), and Asians/Pacific Islanders (29.5%; all P < 0.001). Persons with a behavioral risk of injection drug use (IDU) had the lowest percentage undiagnosed (female IDU: 13.7% and male IDU: 14.5%); men exposed through heterosexual contact had the highest (26.7%) followed by men who have sex with men (23.5%).

Conclusions: Differences in undiagnosed HIV were evident across demographic and behavior groups. Effective testing programs and early access to treatment and prevention services are necessary to reduce undiagnosed HIV infections and HIV prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • HIV / isolation & purification*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult