The provincial annual surveillance report describing trends in HIV and AIDS for 2011 is now available online. In comparison to previous annual surveillance reports, this report provides a greater description of trends by subgroups and aims to provide the context needed to understand not just what the trends are but why they are occurring. A few key trends are described below.
Findings. In 2011, the rate of new HIV diagnoses decreased to its lowest point on record since the start of the epidemic in BC at 6.3 per 100,000 population (289 cases).
In 2011, males continued to have a higher rate of new HIV diagnoses than females. Rates among both males and females showed a general decreasing trend over the past ten years.
Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to comprise the greatest number of new HIV diagnoses in BC. The number of new HIV diagnoses among MSM increased from 152 cases (50.7% of all new diagnoses in BC) in 2010 to 167 cases (57.8%) in 2011. The number of new HIV diagnoses in BC among people who use injection drugs (IDU) continued to decrease from 52 cases (17.3%) in 2010 to 35 cases (12.1%) in 2011. The number of new HIV diagnoses due to heterosexual contact has remained relatively stable in recent years with a slight decrease from 84 (28.0%) in 2010 to 71 cases (24.6%) in 2011.
Summary. In BC, the effort and collaboration of public health, clinical and community partners are leading to sustained declines in the number of new HIV diagnoses. A major influence on this declining trend has been the dramatic decrease since 2008 in the number of new HIV diagnoses among people who use injection drugs. However, decreases have not been observed across all exposure categories; most notably, trends in HIV diagnoses among MSM are static. Trends on new HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal People, HIV in pregnancy, stage of infection at time of HIV diagnosis, immigration of individuals with HIV, and estimates of HIV incidence and prevalence are available in the full report.
For further information.
BC Centre for Disease Control. (2012). HIV in British Columbia: Annual HIV Surveillance Report 2011.
Office of the Provincial Health Officer. (2011, March). Decreasing HIV infections among people who use drugs by injection in British Columbia: Potential explanations and recommendations for further action.