Nebraska Sees Slight Decrease in New AIDS Cases, HIV Numbers Remain the Same
May 18, 2004
New AIDS cases reported in Nebraska dropped from 71 in 2002 to 60 last year, while new HIV infections remained level with 47 cases reported for both years, according to the state Health and Human Services' HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report. Steve Jackson, HIV counselor and testing coordinator for HHS, said the decline in AIDS cases could be the result of better testing and heightened awareness about the disease.
The report found the Hispanic population posted the biggest increase in new AIDS cases last year, with 15 cases reported -- more than double the seven cases recorded for 2002. The Nebraska AIDS Project and Omaha's Chicano Awareness Center have been working together to provide awareness and outreach programs to the Hispanic community, said Jackson.
Twenty-eight new AIDS cases were reported in whites for 2003, a drop from 34 cases in 2002. New cases among blacks also declined from 28 in 2002 to 13 last year. For Native Americans, new AIDS cases remained the same with two cases reported in 2003 and 2002. Two new AIDS cases were reported in Asians last year; in previous years no cases were recorded.
More Nebraskans are getting tested for HIV, which could explain the reduction in AIDS figures, said Charles Houseman, public education coordinator at HHS. Last year, HHS reported 7,300 residents were tested, up from 6,231 tested in 2002.
Compared to the national average, the report shows that Nebraska still has a relatively small number of HIV/AIDS cases, said Tina Brubaker, who oversees the state's HIV and AIDS surveillance efforts. However, "It's not where you live. It's what you do," said Houseman. "There are a lot of people that have HIV and don't know it."
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.