HIV rate in D.C. down to 2.7 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report says the HIV infection rate in the District of Columbia has dipped to 2.7 percent.

Previous estimates had pegged the HIV rate at 3.2 percent. Despite the drop, the district still has a higher rate than any state and is well above the 1 percent epidemic threshold established by the World Health Organization.

District officials say more accurate reporting is largely responsible for the drop, but new HIV cases are also down. Newly diagnosed cases dropped 24 percent between 2006 and 2010, the year covered by the report released Wednesday. HIV-related deaths have dropped by 72 percent over that period.

District residents are also getting better and faster care. Seventy-six percent of patients started treatment within 3 months of their diagnosis, up from 58 percent in 2006.