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For Immediate Release: December 2, 2007
Contact: CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Office of Communications; 404-639-8895

CDC Statement on Pending HIV Incidence Estimates

By Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Recent media reports have speculated about CDC’s pending estimates of new HIV infections in the United States. CDC emphasizes that the new estimates are not yet final.

In recent years, CDC has worked to develop an innovative system designed to estimate the number of new HIV infections in a given year. As a result of new technology that can distinguish recent from longstanding infections, the new system will provide the clearest picture to date of new HIV infections in the United States.

Given the importance of the new estimates in guiding HIV prevention policy and programs, CDC’s public health responsibility is to ensure accurate information. The estimates have been submitted for further analysis and rigorous scientific review to ensure the accuracy of the complex new methods and of the estimates themselves.

The new estimates utilize complex methods based on a number of statistical assumptions. Any modification to those assumptions during the scientific review process will affect the final estimates. It would not be responsible for CDC to discuss specific data before we are certain that the new estimates are reliable.

CDC is strongly committed to providing an accurate, timely picture of the domestic HIV epidemic, and we are moving as quickly as possible to finalize, confirm, and release these important new estimates. Presuming that the methods are found to be sound, we anticipate releasing the new estimates in early 2008.

CDC remains committed to the best available research, surveillance and programs to accelerate progress in HIV prevention and reduce the continuing and severe toll of this epidemic.