About 19,000 People In Virginia Living With HIV/AIDS

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There areabout 19,000 reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Virginia, and an additional 6,000 peoplemight not be aware of their HIV-positive status, according to a recentlyreleased study conducted by the VirginiaDepartment of Healthand the department's HIV Community Planning Committee, the Washington Post reports.

According to the study, newly diagnosed HIV cases reported in the statedecreased from almost 1,600 in 1997 to less than 1,200 in 2006. The study foundthat 351 per 100,000 men and 125 per 100,000 women at the end of 2006 wereliving with HIV/AIDS. Among the people living with HIV/AIDS, 62% were black,31% were white and 6% were Hispanic, according to the study (Kumar, WashingtonPost, 12/6). In addition, the report found that people ages 30 to 39were the largest group living with the disease. Thirty-eight percent of casesoccurred among men who have sex with men; 20% of cases were the results ofheterosexual contact; and 13% of cases were among injection drug users (AP/Hampton Roads Daily Press, 12/5). In general, more cases werereported in more populated, urban areas of the state; however, people livingwith the disease in rural areas might have more trouble finding resources,Kathy Hafford, acting director for the health department's division of diseaseprevention, said.

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According to the Post, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS slowly has increased as peopleare living longer because of improved antiretroviral drugs and more access tohealth care. The health department in an accompanying strategic planrecommended that more funding be allocated to needle-exchange programs;collaboration be increased with methamphetamine programs; and efforts to useSpanish speakers to reach the Hispanic population are bolstered. Elaine Martin,director of community services for the division of disease prevention, said,"The plan and profile are useful for planners at both the state and locallevels." She added, "They provide city and county governments,community organizations, health care planners and educators with current data theycan use to create effective prevention and care plans to protect the people intheir localities" (Washington Post, 12/6).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Reportis published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. KaiserFamily Foundation.

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