Monday, September 11, 2006

Blacks in south Florida are more than three times as likely to be HIV-positive than whites

Medical News Today:

Although there has been progress in recent years, blacks in south Florida are more than three times as likely to be HIV-positive than whites in the region, according to a report from the Florida Department of Health, the Miami Herald reports (Goldstein, Miami Herald, 9/7). The report, titled "Silence is Death: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS in Florida's Black Communities," looks at 20 counties in the state with at least 600 reported HIV/AIDS cases ("Silence is Death: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS in Florida's Black Communities," 9/5). HIV prevalence is six times as high among blacks as whites in Florida, down from about 11 times as high in 1999, Spencer Lieb, a senior state epidemiologist who co-authored the report, said. In Miami-Dade County, 2.3% of blacks are HIV-positive, compared with 0.7% of whites and 0.6% of Latinos, the report says. In Broward County, the figures are 1.7%, 0.5% and 0.5%, respectively (Miami Herald, 9/7). "It is unacceptable that for 15 years in a row, HIV/AIDS has been the leading cause of death among black Floridians aged 25 to 44 years," state health department Secretary M. Rony Francois said, adding, "It is time for us to mobilize communities and all those who have a stake in the epidemic to find innovative ways to reduce the associated morbidity and mortality."

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