risk management

Lifetime Risk of HIV Diagnosis Has Decreased

The lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis in the United States has decreased overall, but not for White women or Hispanic men, according to the results of a recent study presented at the 2022 Conference for Antiretroviral and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

To estimate the lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis by sex, race or ethnicity, and place of residence in the United States, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data on HIV diagnosis from the National HIV Surveillance System and mortality and census population data. The lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis was defined as the cumulative probability of an HIV diagnosis from birth.

Using a competing risks method and probability calculation software, they entered the numbers of HIV diagnoses and non-HIV deaths from 2017 through 2019 to determine the probabilities of receiving an HIV diagnosis at a given age if no previous HIV diagnosis had been received. They then compared their findings from this analysis with those from an analysis of data collected from 2010 through 2014.

Using the data collected from 2017 through 2019, they found that the lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis was 1 in 120 for the US population as a whole. For men, it was 1 in 76 compared with 1 in 309 for women. Men had a greater lifetime risk than women at every age.

Lifetime risk based on later data improved when compared with lifetime risk based on earlier data for all patient populations except White women, Hispanic men, American tribal members, and Pacific Islanders.

“There is need for continued progress in HIV prevention and treatment since disparities still persist by sex and race/ethnicity,” the researchers concluded.

Lifetime risk by jurisdiction ranged from 1 in 39 in the District of Columbia to 1 in 655 in Wyoming. Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, and Maryland had the highest lifetime risks.


—Ellen Kurek



Singh S, Hu X, Hess K. Estimating the lifetime risk of a diagnosis of HIV infection in the United States. Paper presented at: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, February 12-16 and 22-24, 2022; Virtual. Accessed February 17, 2022.