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U.S. News

California: HIV Cases Rise Among Latina Women

February 9, 2006

While new Sonoma County HIV/AIDS diagnoses continued to decline in 2004, the proportion of Latino, female and heterosexual cases continued growing, according to a county report published last month.

"This trend in Sonoma County is consistent with other parts of the country," said Dr. Mark Netherda, medical director of the Sonoma County Center for HIV Prevention and Care. "The number of cases acquired through injection drug use actually has declined."

In 2004, the county recorded 18 new diagnoses, down from 49 in 2003. New diagnoses among Hispanics dropped from 12 to six, but grew as a proportion of all new cases from 24 percent in 2003 to 32 percent in 2004. In 1999, just 6 percent of the 36 new cases were Latinos.

The proportion of female cases has also grown, from seven in 2003 to eight in 2004, or from 18 percent of new cases to 22 percent.

Heterosexual transmissions comprised a greater proportion of infections, increasing from 24 percent in 2003 to 32 percent of all cases in 2004. That compares with just 9 percent of all diagnoses in 1999.

"While the number of newly diagnosed cases has continued to decline since 1992, our goal is to completely stop the spread of this disease," said Netherda. "The newer medications are working well for many people with HIV who are living longer, healthier lives," he said.

Netherda urged residents of Sonoma, which has the seventh-largest number of people living with AIDS among California counties, to get tested for HIV. "We can help people infected with HIV maintain good health for a long time, and delay an AIDS diagnosis for years, maybe decades, but we are most successful if we start them on medications while they are still healthy," he said.

To view the full report, visit

Back to other news for February 9, 2006

Adapted from:
Petaluma Argus Courier
02.01.2006; Dan Johnson

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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