DC AIDS Rate Highest In Country

Armen Hareyan's picture

HIV/AIDS infections are ten times the national average in the Washington-Metropolitan district, according to a report released today, with a staggering climb in black residents testing positive for the disease

In the 120 page report, the first released since 2000, the Whitman Walker clinic called the rate increase an epidemic, reporting 1 in 20 area residents with HIV and 1 in 50 with AIDS.

"HIV/AIDS in the District has become a modern epidemic with complexities and challenges that continue to threaten the lives and well-being of far too many residents," the report states.

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The report estimated 80 percent of the 3,269 patients who tested positive between 2001 and 2006 were black residents. Black women made up nine out of ten reported HIV/AIDS cases among women.

Of the district residents who tested positive, more than 37 percent were heterosexual compared with the 25 percent who were infected by contact with the same sex.

"It blows the stereotype out of the water," Shannon Hader, head of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration told the Washington Post, "HIV is everybody's disease here."

The report includes data of the districts most recent infections, and is therefore expected to help track area changes in transmission patterns, the Post reports. The paper says that it was compiled through cases collected from laboratories and health care providers.