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WSJ Article Prompts AHF to Renew Call for CDC to Release Stark New HIV Data
Date:12/1/2007

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In a letter dated November 26, 2007 and sent to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and others, the CDC reveals its plan to release the 2005 HIV incidence estimates "in the coming months." The letter further states that the new numbers will be the first since the agency implemented a new system of data collection and analysis that they say will "provide more accurate and timely HIV incidence estimates."

The CDC letter is likely a response to widespread speculation among stakeholders that the latest incidence numbers will reveal an astronomical rise in the estimate of new cases-speculation that may have reached fever pitch after the National Minority AIDS Council-sponsored U.S. Conference on AIDS held in Palm Springs earlier this month. Stating that the goal is to release the data "as soon as possible," the CDC letter goes on to say that, although the new incidence figures currently exist in manuscript form, the agency is submitting it to "an academic journal for peer review to ensure that the methods, emerging data, and conclusions are carefully reviewed for scientific accuracy and rigor before they are published. The manuscript is currently under review and decisions about publication are forthcoming."

"We call on the CDC to immediately release its new findings, as it is widely believed that the new HIV incidence numbers will show a startling increase in reported infections, constituting a public health crisis," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "The CDC is not an academic institution charged with collecting data to analyze for its own sake. It is a government body with an obligation to disseminate crucial information-such as a 50% increase in reported HIV cases-so that it may be used to protect the public health. The 2008 federal budget is being finalized now, and it is only right that Congress and the public at large have access to accurate infor
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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