Number of HIV, AIDS Cases Rises Steadily in Alabama and Southeastern U.S.
February 24, 2003
With new cases of HIV/AIDS in Alabama continuing to rise at a steady rate of about 700 per year, the majority are no longer gay men -- as they previously were in many places -- but low-income, heterosexual blacks, officials say.Adapted from:
The trend is mirrored throughout the Southeast, which has had the highest increase of new HIV/AIDS cases among all regions in the country since 1993, according to CDC. "There's an ever-increasing number among heterosexual females, women of color in their childbearing years," said James Waid, who directs Montgomery AIDS Outreach Program. "And there has been a rise among African-American males."
According to not yet completed statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health, from 2001 to 2002, the number of new HIV/AIDS cases has increased by 644, from 12,399 to 13,043. That number is expected to top 700 when all the numbers from laboratories around the state are collected. Meanwhile, although the total number of new cases has dropped each year in the last few years around the country, between 1993 and 2000 there has been a 119 percent increase in the number of people living with AIDS in the Southeast. That number compares to a 95 percent increase in the more heavily populated Northeast over the same period. There has been a 78 percent increase in the number of people living with AIDS in the Midwest since 1993 and a 68 percent rise in the West.
Gay white men account for a portion of new cases, but in the last couple of years, about 57 percent of new cases have been straight blacks, and about 40 percent of new cases have been among black women, Waid said. Despite the changing statistics, the two primary modes of HIV/AIDS transmission have always been through sexual contact and intravenous drug use. "We don't have a lot of IV drug use in this area so it goes back to sex," Waid said.
02.21.03; Dave Bryan
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.