CHART logo

Newly Diagnosed Patients

Nationally, the annual number of newly diagnosed HIV patients has decreased nearly 20 percent between 2008 to 2017 (47,290 cases in 2008 versus 38,226 cases in 2017). After accounting for changes in population size, the rate of newly diagnosed cases nationwide was 11.8 per 100,000 population in 2017, a 24.4 percent decrease from 15.6 in 2008.

New Jersey’s rate of newly diagnosed HIV patients during that time period decreased by approximately 23.2 percent, close to the national average. Although encouraging, New Jersey’s rate remained high in 2017 at 12.7 per 100,000 population, the 13th highest in the nation. While states surrounding New Jersey also showed large decreases in raw numbers of HIV cases, their rates were still higher than the national rate of 11.8.

2008 Rate
per 100,000
2017 Rate
per 100,000
% Change
Maryland 36.1 17.0 -53.1%
New York 23.6 13.9 -40.8%
Delaware 17.5 13.2 -24.9%
New Jersey 16.5 12.7 -23.2%
Nationwide 15.6 11.8 -24.4%

While states in the Northeast are making strides to reduce the overall number of newly diagnosed patients, more work is needed to reduce the high rates in relation to the total nationwide population

Prevalence and Death Rates

Decreasing trends in the incidence (number of newly diagnosed cases) of HIV are promising. As incidence rates decrease across the nation, the prevalence of HIV, defined as the number of patients living with HIV in a given year, has been on the rise. In 2008, there were 771,038 HIV patients nationwide, increasing by approximately 30 percent in 2017 to just over 1 million. All states, including Washington D.C., saw an increase in the prevalence of HIV patients over this time period.

In 1992, AIDS was the number one cause of death for men aged 25-44. By 2016, HIV had fallen to the 9th most common cause of death among men 20-44, accounting for just 1 percent of deaths in that population. Nationwide, the rate of death for HIV patients per 100,000 population declined 20 percent in the time period from 2008 to 2017. Even as incidence rates decline, the declining death rate has pushed the prevalence rate higher as people live longer with HIV infection.

Research indicates HIV patients are living longer as a result of better treatment options. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is medication taken on a daily basis to reduce the HIV patient’s viral load and is commonly called “Treatment as Prevention (TasP)”. If taken consistently, according to the CDC, most patients will no longer have detectable HIV antibodies six months after beginning treatment. As a result, the HIV patient is at a lower risk of developing the more advanced form of HIV and subsequently AIDS. Per the CDC’s 2018 “HIV Treatment as Prevention Technical Fact Sheet”, as a patient has “effectively no risk” of sexually transmitting the disease when their viral load is at undetectable levels, ART also acts as a preventative measure. While ART doesn’t cure HIV, it has demonstrated effectiveness in stopping the virus from reproducing and spreading.

According to a 2017 study from Lancet HIV, an online research journal, life expectancy for a person with HIV in Europe and North America increased by approximately 10 years between 1996 to 2010, largely due to increased access to ART and early diagnoses. Based on this research, a 20-year-old HIV patient using ART has a life expectancy of 78 years, close to national averages for those not infected with HIV.