North Carolina: HIV, AIDS Cases Rose Last Year, Statistics Show
February 3, 2003
New AIDS cases increased across North Carolina last year. One thousand-fourteen new cases marked a 16.4 percent increase over 2001, when 871 cases were reported.Adapted from:
New cases of HIV also increased slightly statewide, according to state statistics. In 2001, 1,600 new cases were recorded; last year, 1,692 cases were reported.
Jim Augsburger, HIV coordinator at the Infectious Diseases Specialty Clinic at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said he was not surprised that HIV cases had increased. "There are a lot of reasons," he said. "To some extent, you might want to make the argument that we are doing a better job of testing people. What's really increasing for sure is the number of cases we're uncovering. I think it's a foregone conclusion that the rate of cases is increasing, too."
Across North Carolina, people ages 30-39 were most likely to contract HIV. More than 70 percent were black, and about 23 percent were white. Seventy percent were men. Fewer than 30 percent of patients, statistics show, were infected through homosexual male sexual contact. Although HIV is more highly concentrated in certain groups, Augsburger says eventually the disease could hit everyone.
"It's not nor has it ever been a gay disease; it's not and has never been a disease of poor black people or poor Hispanic people," he said. "Right now, it's primarily a disease in minority populations. Someday, it will affect all of us in a statistically equal way."
"The thing that I think is most important of all," Augsburger continued, "is if you don't have HIV, don't get it. That may sound stupid, but do the things you have to do to avoid this infection. Behave safely and responsibly for yourself in sexual matters."
01.27.03; Danielle Deaver
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.