While HIV/AIDS has mostly faded from the headlines, the disease is still infecting millions. In the United States, about 1.1 million people age 13 and older are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A decade ago, the number of U.S. infections was declining substantially each year, but that stopped in 2013. Since then, about 39,000 people have become newly infected every year, which prompted the CDC this year to declare the nation’s progress in preventing HIV has stalled. A recent commentary by four top public health and AIDS experts, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reports that more than two-thirds of new infections occur among those who are poor or who are ethnic, racial or sexual minorities. The CDC did note locales that have enacted plans to eliminate HIV epidemics in their communities have seen some success in prevention, with new HIV infections down 40 percent in Washington, D.C., and 23 percent in New York City from 2010 to 2016. No cure exists for HIV or AIDS. (AIDS itself does not kill but it allows other diseases to kill.) Nearly 16,000 people in the United States diagnosed with HIV died in 2016, the most recent data available. But antiretroviral therapy — an HIV treatment regimen that was introduced in the mid-1990s — can keep HIV controlled, preventing it from progressing to AIDS. People who start this treatment early and take it regularly as prescribed can reduce, and possibly eliminate, their chances of transmitting HIV to others and generally can live long, healthy lives.

— Linda Searing