Iowa: State Reports Highest Number of New HIV Cases in Eight Years
April 4, 2006
Iowa recorded 113 new HIV diagnoses in 2005, the most infections since HIV tracking there began, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) recently reported. New diagnoses had just recently begun edging down from Iowa's previous record 108 in 2002, with 92 cases in 2003 and 106 in 2004, officials said. Iowa began tracking new HIV infections in 1998, when it recorded 100 cases.
"I would like this to be a wake up call to action," said Randy Mayer, who heads DPH's HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis program. "It's not a huge peak, but it's an upward turn."
Of the 113 diagnoses, nearly 75 percent were contracted by men having sex with men, mirroring a trend seen in high-population areas of other states, said Mayer. For the last two years, new HIV diagnoses have concentrated among white, U.S.-born men, data show. The youngest case was a 20-year-old man; the median age was 41. Almost 80 percent of diagnoses occurred in residents of the 10 most populous counties, especially Polk, Johnson, Linn, Scott, and Pottawattamie.
Mayer cited complacency among men for the increase. "It's a younger group that's not afraid as the older group used to be," he said.
The report noted that effective HIV drugs in wide use have led to a decrease in AIDS mortality, and thus a rise in the population living with HIV. As of December, DPH reported 1,343 residents had HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 498 residents are infected but undiagnosed.
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.