August 2, 2008 / 2:24 PM / 11 years ago

New estimates raise US AIDS infection rate 40 pct

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - At least 56,000 people become infected with the AIDS virus every year in the United States — 40 percent more than previous estimates, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC stressed that actual infection rates have not gone up but said better methods of measuring new diagnosed infections and then extrapolating this to the general population led to the fresh estimates.

"CDC’s first estimates from this system reveal that the HIV epidemic is — and has been — worse than previously known. Results indicate that approximately 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006," the CDC said in a statement.

"This figure is roughly 40 percent higher than CDC’s former estimate of 40,000 infections per year, which was based on limited data and less precise methods." (Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

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