South Has Higher HIV Rates Compared to Nation

New studies by the Center for Disease Control show that new HIV rates are higher than previously thought. The latest CDC reports show that at the end of 2008, 1.1 million people are living with the HIV virus. Due to the effectiveness of treatments, more people are being infected per year than are dying, causing the CDC to worry about possible higher transmission rates due to the increasing numbers.
If untreated, HIV becomes the AIDS virus, which is much harder to treat. California, New York, and Florida rank as the top three states with the highest reported AIDS cases. North Carolina ranks near the top, taking the number ten spot.

The recently published North Carolina HIV/STD Quarterly Surveillance Report showed 2,650 new cases of HIV in North Carolina alone with an estimated one-third having both HIV and AIDS. The top two counties were Mecklenburg and Wake counties with 378 and 321 respectively. Jackson County had four new cases in 2008, while Buncombe County had 38. The highest statewide numbers are African-American males at 39.6 percent, white males at 27.7 percent, and African-American females at 18.2 percent. With 52 percent of the people in the category of “Risk Not Specified,” the highest modes of transmission are hard if not impossible to calculate.

At only around 22% of the North Carolina population, the percentage of African-American’s with HIV/AIDS is staggeringly disproportionate, and much more so at National Levels. The poor and uninsured are also affected more than people with higher incomes and insurance, possibly due to the fact that their hospital visits are more regular. African Americans without health insurance rose from 19 percent in 2005 to 20.5 percent in 2007.

The CDC recommends what it calls the ABC’s for prevention. They are abstinence, be faithful, and condoms.

Apart from that, getting an HIV test every time you have a checkup is suggested. They also recommend that anyone who has sex with different partners to get tested regularly. Also, for men who have sex with other men, get tested once a year, and woman trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant, get tested as soon as possible before having a baby. If in a monogamous relationship with someone that has HIV, using a condom is recommended to help prevent passing it on. If both members have HIV, condoms should still be used in order not to infect the other with a different strand of HIV.