Iowa Records 127 New HIV Cases in 2007, Highest Number Since 1998, Health Department Report Says
April 25, 2008
Iowa recorded 127 new HIV cases in 2007, a 12% increase from the 113 cases reported in 2006 and the highest number since the state began recording HIV/AIDS cases in 1998, according to a recently released Iowa Department of Public Health report, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports.
Mayer said the increase in HIV cases likely is a "true increase" and not the result of increased HIV testing. More than 8,000 state residents were tested for HIV last year, the Gazette reports. Mayer said that a rise in risky sexual behavior, apathy about HIV/AIDS and the role of the Internet in finding sex partners are fueling the increase.
The health department is funding several HIV prevention projects aimed at MSM to help stem the increase. The moMENtum program, conducted by Johnson County Public Health, provides outreach support and peer discussion to increase prevention activities (Hadish, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 4/23). A separate program conducted by the AIDS Project of Central Iowa is targeting black MSM and examines cultural, social and religious factors specific to black men.
Tom Newton, director of the health department, said that although the state has a "relatively low number of HIV infections when compared with other states, the upward trending is something we take very seriously." He added that the department wants to "encourage testing because early diagnosis means early treatment and a better outcome" (IDPH release, 4/23).
The report is available online (.pdf).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.