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U.S. News

Louisiana: Rising AIDS Rate Drives Protection Campaign

June 15, 2004

Earlier this year, CDC ranked the Baton Rouge metro area -- East and West Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston parishes -- in a tie with Miami as second in the nation for new AIDS cases per capita. Baton Rouge had 49.5 cases per 100,000 people, or 304 new AIDS cases, in 2002.

For the next several months, a collaborative effort organized by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation will raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. The foundation contacted HIV/AIDS service providers to develop a news media campaign and to devise a plan to put more prevention work into communities. The organizations formed a group called Baton Rouge Citizens Against HIV, which includes the foundation, the Baton Rouge AIDS Society, Family Services of Greater Baton Rouge, the HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, Metro Health, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, American Red Cross and Volunteers of America.

The media campaign -- including billboards, television spots, radio spots, flyers, posters, a Web site ( and an information hotline (888-HIV-BRBR) -- will run through June and July and during the last two weeks in August to catch returning college students.

State Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Fred Cerise said 1,400 Baton Rouge area residents have AIDS and 1,600 have died from it. "The rates of new cases of AIDS have reached an alarming rate," he said, "not only in Louisiana but particularly in Baton Rouge." Cerise said cases are growing in the heterosexual population.

Back to other news for June 15, 2004

Adapted from:
The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
06.09.04; Amy Wold

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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.
See Also
More HIV Statistics on Southern U.S. States