The United States of America is one of the countries with the largest number of HIV infections in the world. Based on data from the 33 states and four dependent territories with longterm, confidential name-based HIV reporting, men accounted for most of the HIV or AIDS diagnoses (74%) among adults and adolescents in the country in 2005.
More than half of all newly diagnosed HIV infections (53%) in 2005 were among men who have sex with men. Persons exposed to HIV through heterosexual intercourse with a non-regular partner accounted for just under one third (32%) of newly diagnosed HIV infections and AIDS cases, while about 18% occurred among injecting drug users (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007a).
Racial and ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in the United States. Although African Americans represent about 13% of the population (US Census Bureau, 2006) they accounted for 48% of new HIV or AIDS diagnoses in 2005.
AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death among African Americans aged 25–44 years in the United States in 2004 (Anderson, Mosher & Chandra, 2006; US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006).
Hispanics, who comprise about 14% of the population, accounted for 18% of new diagnoses (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007b).