(HealthDay News) — Many people have undiagnosed HIV, with the prevalence varying by geographic area, according to a report published in the June 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

H. Irene Hall, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined data from the National HIV Surveillance System to assess the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infection. Among the estimated 1.2 million persons living with HIV in the United States in 2011, 14% had undiagnosed infections, according to the report.

The researchers found that in 42 jurisdictions with numerically stable estimates, the prevalence of HIV varied from 110 to 3,936 per 100,000 in 2012 (Iowa and the District of Columbia, respectively). There was variation in the percentage of people living with diagnosed HIV, from 77% in Louisiana to 90% or more in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and New York. There was also variation in the percentage of HIV cases with diagnosed infection among men who have sex with men, from 75% in Louisiana to 90% or more in Hawaii and New York.

“These data demonstrate the need for interventions and public health strategies to reduce the prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection,” the authors write. “Because the percentage of persons with undiagnosed HIV varies by geographic area, efforts tailored to each area’s unique circumstances might be needed to increase the percentage of persons aware of their infection.”

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