Maps show impact of HIV in U.S.

By Melva Robertson | June 27, 2013

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This map shows the 2010 rate of adults/adolescents living with an HIV diagnosis per 100,000 population. The darker the area, the higher the rate. Areas shown in white are places where data are not shown (to protect privacy) and gray areas indicate places where data were not released or not available to AIDSVu.

The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University launched its annual update of AIDSVu on National HIV Testing Day yesterday, including new interactive online maps that show the latest HIV prevalence data for 20 U.S. cities by ZIP code or census tract. AIDSVu also includes new city snapshots displaying HIV prevalence alongside various social determinants of health – such as poverty, lack of health insurance and educational attainment.

AIDSVu — the most detailed publicly available view of HIV prevalence in the United States — is a compilation of interactive online maps that display HIV prevalence data at the national, state and local levels and by different demographics, including age, race and sex. The maps pinpoint areas of the country where the rates of people living with an HIV diagnosis are the highest.  These areas include urban centers in the Northeast and the South, and visualize where the needs for prevention, testing, and treatment services are the most urgent.

"Our National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for reducing new HIV infections by intensifying our efforts in HIV prevention where the epidemic is most concentrated. AIDSVu provides a roadmap to identifying those high-prevalence areas of the HIV epidemic and showing where the local testing resources are located," says Patrick S. Sullivan, professor of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and the principal researcher for AIDSVu."The addition of new city data means that AIDSVu now displays data from 20 U.S. cities. This expanded city information is critical because most HIV diagnoses in the United States occur in cities."

The free, interactive online tool’s new data and features include:

  • National maps displaying 2010 data at the state-and county-level, the most recent national HIV prevalence data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Interactive maps of HIV prevalence data by census tract for Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
  • New ZIP code level maps for five U.S. cities – Memphis, Orlando, San Diego, Tampa and Virginia Beach; and updated ZIP code maps for Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles County, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan and Washington, D.C.
  • HIV prevalence maps alongside social determinants of health – poverty, lack of health insurance, median household income, educational attainment and income inequality – in side-by-side map views for 20 cities, in addition to the existing state views.

AIDSVu maps illustrate the geographic variations in the HIV epidemic across the United States:

  • The national map shows significantly higher rates of people living with HIV in the Northeast and the South than in much of the rest of the country. AIDSVu’s city maps demonstrate that, in many cities, there is a pattern of heavily impacted urban cores with relatively lower impact in areas further from city centers. 
  • The data on AIDSVu’s maps can be viewed by race/ethnicity. AIDSVu shows that HIV disproportionately affects black and Hispanic/Latino Americans, and that these disparities exist in both major metropolitan areas and rural areas.
  • AIDSVu also provides downloadable and printable resources – including slide sets of the various map views available on the site – to help those who work in HIV prevention and treatment educate others about the U.S. epidemic.                             

AIDSVu and National HIV Testing Day:

  • This year’s update of AIDSVu is being launched in conjunction with National HIV Testing Day. Currently, more than one million Americans are living with HIV, and an estimated one in five people with HIV do not know their status.
  • Information about HIV prevalence at the local level – as shown on AIDSVu – can help individuals understand the impact of HIV in their communities and the importance of getting tested. The AIDSVu testing locator helps users find a place in their community to get tested for HIV.

The state- and county-level data displayed on AIDSVu were obtained from the CDC and compiled by researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Data on HIV prevalence at the ZIP code and census tract data were provided directly by state, county and city health departments, depending on the entity responsible for HIV surveillance, and were also compiled by Rollins researchers. The project is guided by an advisory committee and a technical advisory group with representatives from federal agencies, state health departments and non-governmental organizations working in HIV prevention, care and research. Financial support for AIDSVu was provided to Emory University by Gilead Sciences, Inc.

About the Rollins School of Public Health

The Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) is part of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The school houses six academic departments, 20 multidisciplinary centers – including an NIH-supported Center for AIDS Research – and over 160 full-time doctoral-level faculty members.