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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

County Sees Rise in HIV, AIDS Cases


Indianapolis Star (08.26.02) - Thursday, August 29, 2002

Reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Marion County, Ind., appear to be rising dramatically, possibly on a pace to be the most since 1994. But health officials cannot yet say whether that means infection rates are growing. Stepped-up efforts to have people tested and diagnosed could, in some cases, be identifying people sooner. In others, it might put on record people diagnosed in another state but now living in Indiana. But the increased numbers locally also could be an echo of the syphilis epidemic of 1999, said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department.

Through July 31, 160 cases of AIDS were reported in Marion County. By the same time in 2001, 76 cases had been reported. In fact, the number of cases reported so far is higher than all of 2001, 2000 or 1999. In 1998, the county recorded 177 AIDS cases. HIV reports are up as well. Through the end of July, there were 149, compared with 84 through the same date last year and 162 for all of last year. If reported HIV and AIDS cases continue at the same pace for the rest of the year, the 2002 total could reach or surpass the 1994 totals. In that year, 290 cases of AIDS and 268 HIV cases were reported. The peak numbers for Marion County were posted in 1993, when 381 people were reported with AIDS and 385 with HIV.

Statewide, numbers also are up. For the second quarter of this year, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 207 new HIV and 170 new AIDS cases. Both categories had hovered around 100 new cases for the past several quarters. Michael Butler, director of the department's HIV/STD division, said it is believed more aggressive reporting accounts for most of the increase.

The Health Department is also looking at data to compare recent reports of HIV/AIDS with syphilis cases, which peaked in 1999, when 526 people in Marion County were recorded with the STD. Of those, 416 were contagious.


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Information in this article was accurate in August 29, 2002. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.