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World AIDS Day is Tuesday; here's a look at Florida stats

HIV testing, including the oral swab test, is widely available. But one-fifth of Floridians who are infected don’t know it. For those who do know, drug therapies can prolong life.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times (2008)

HIV testing, including the oral swab test, is widely available. But one-fifth of Floridians who are infected don’t know it. For those who do know, drug therapies can prolong life.

On the eve of World AIDS Day on Tuesday, the medicine is getting better, but human behavior is not. AIDS deaths in Florida have declined for two consecutive years, thanks to drug therapies, but infections hold steady, thanks to bad behavior. Here are a few snapshots that portray the current state of the disease in Florida, as well its wider footprint around the world.

About 1,500 Floridians died of AIDS from 2006 to 2008, compared with about 1,700 deaths from 2004 to 2006.

About 90,000 Floridians have HIV/AIDS. Fifteen are infected every day.

One-fourth of those infected with HIV are not receiving treatment. One-fifth of those who have HIV don't know it.

In Florida, AIDS is no longer mostly a gay man's disease. Now it disproportionately preys on African-Americans.

Last year AIDS was the leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 44, and the third-leading cause of death among black men in that age group.

About one of every 60 black men in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties has HIV/AIDS, compared with about one of every 160 white men. The death rate among black men is almost seven times higher than among white men.

About one of every 100 black women in Florida is infected, compared with about one of every 1,000 white women. Black women account for 70 percent of women's infections, though they make up only 16 percent of the female population. About 85 percent of these women are infected through heterosexual sex.

About 400 black women in Florida die each year of AIDS. It kills as many black women annually as it kills white men and women combined.

Beyond Florida

An estimated 33.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide, more than ever before, as therapies extend lives.

About 2.7 million people were newly infected in 2008 and 3.2 million people died of AIDS-related illness that year.

New HIV infections have dropped 17 percent in the past eight years.

Sources: The Florida Department of Health, World Heath Organization and UN/AIDS, the joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS .

More info

For more information about HIV/AIDS prevention, go to the Florida Department of Health Web site, www.floridaaids.org.

Prayer breakfast

A World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Sirata Beach Resort, 5300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. It's sponsored by the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas. Cost is $15. For more information, call (727) 328-3264.

World AIDS Day is Tuesday; here's a look at Florida stats 11/29/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2009 8:48am]
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