New HIV infections decline 16% in 2016, health disparities remain

SAN FRANCISCO, September 14, 2017—New HIV diagnoses and deaths of people living with HIV/AIDS declined in 2016 to a 10-year low of 223, according to a new annual report published by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The report also highlights that deaths among people living with HIV are at a record low since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980’s.

“San Francisco AIDS Foundation is proud of the progress our city is making to become the first major city in the world to prevent new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths,” said Joe Hollendoner, San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO. “If San Francisco is to achieve our ambitious goal of getting to zero new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, we must eliminate disparities that continue to drive the epidemic by increasing access to interventions that we know are effective.”

Despite these encouraging trends, health disparities remain relating to both new HIV infections and viral suppression. Among these disparities:

- African-American men have the highest HIV diagnosis rate, followed by Latino men (96 and 77 per 100,000 population respectively), compared to white men (39 per 100,000 population).

- People who inject drugs have the lowest viral suppression among living cases of HIV with a known transmission category (63% compared to 73% overall).

“San Francisco AIDS Foundation is committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to these interventions regardless of their sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender, housing status, or substance use,” said Hollendoner. “Funding made available by the San Francisco Department of Public Health with the support of Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors has allowed us to expand services to address these gaps.”

To increase PrEP access for African-American, Latinx and trans communities, San Francisco AIDS Foundation has doubled the number of hours that enrollment in PrEP and other sexual health services are available at its Mid-Market location. Nearly 10% of those in San Francisco who use PrEP as a bio-medical prevention strategy receive it from San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Harm Reduction Center also recently expanded to 6-days per week and is now providing approximately 100 people per day with access to harm reduction supplies, mental health services, substance use treatment, medical care, and other social supports. These interventions aim to create better outcomes for people who inject drugs.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health has made the full 2016 HIV Epidemiology Annual Report is available online at: 

About San Francisco AIDS Foundation

No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. More information about the foundation is available at


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