Local and Community News
HIV/AIDS Rate Stable in Manatee County, Fla.
March 6, 2003
New statistics indicate Manatee County, Fla., has held the line on its HIV infection rate and new AIDS cases for the last two years, though the number of women and blacks exposed to the deadly virus is on the rise. Manatee recorded 68 people testing positive for HIV in 2002, compared to 61 people in 2001. The total number of AIDS cases in 2002 was 61, compared to 59 in 2001.Adapted from:
"We are holding the line because we are doing more testing and outreach," said Tom Miller, HIV/AIDS educator with the county Health Department. Despite a significant population increase, said Miller, the county still ranks 13th among Florida counties in both HIV infection rate and AIDS. However, in South Florida, new HIV infections leaped by an unprecedented 44 percent in Palm Beach County, 30 percent in Broward County and 18 percent in Miami-Dade County last year.
In 1995, women accounted for only 13 percent of all known AIDS cases in Manatee since 1981. Men accounted for 87 percent. By 2002, the percentage of AIDS cases among women had risen to 23 percent, while the percentage for men dropped to 77 percent. Moreover, women accounted for 37 percent of new HIV infections identified last year.
The same trend is seen among Manatee's black population. While the percentage of AIDS cases among whites and blacks were each 42 percent in 1995, by 2002 cases among whites had dropped to 37 percent while cases among blacks rose to 47 percent. The rate among Hispanics remained at 15 percent during 1995-2002.
"It could mean that we are seeing more people for testing rather than the incidence rate increasing and therefore we are finding more people within those population groups than we did before," said MariAnne Shannon, nursing supervisor for MCHD. "Getting the word out and encouraging people to use protective measures has a big impact on stopping the spread," she said.
Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.)
03.06.03; Donna Wright
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.