August 11, 2005
Results from a University of North Carolina Center for Women's Health Research study released Monday reveal a disturbing trend: Many women in North Carolina are engaging in unsafe sex.
According to the 2005 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card, the rate of HIV and AIDS among Hispanic women in the state more than tripled from 1999 to 2003, from 6.8 cases per 100,000 to 26.6. And the HIV rate for black women is 15 times higher than that of white, non-Hispanic women. In 2003, there were 67 HIV cases per 100,000 black women in North Carolina, compared with 4.4 cases per 100,000 white women.
North Carolina health officials say part of the increase is the result of enhanced HIV testing and follow-up procedures launched statewide in 2002.
The rate of chlamydia increased among women of all races in the state, to 1,829 cases per 100,000 black women, 1,169 for Hispanic women and 228 for white women.
However, the report showed improvements in some areas. Syphilis declined from 6.1 cases per 100,000 to 1.3, and gonorrhea decreased from 259 cases per 100,000 to 210. Teen pregnancy rates dropped from 4.9 percent to 3.9 percent of births. Cervical cancer deaths decreased from 4.1 per 100,000 to 2.9.
The report is compiled from data through 2003 -- the most recent information available. Data on women age 15 and older is culled from state health behavior surveys, state vital statistics and disease reporting systems, and reports on insurance coverage and poverty. To view the report, visit www.cwhr.unc.edu.