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Ask the Times: Questions on HIV, Twinkies, ethanol

Florida and HIV

Where does Florida rank among the states on HIV infections and deaths?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida ranks third among states for the rate of HIV deaths with 15.6 per 100,000 population in 2010. Only New York (17.5) and Louisiana (16.5) have higher rates among the states, though the District of Columbia's rate is 38.8 and Puerto Rico's is 21.5.

Florida is also third in HIV diagnoses with 33.2 cases per 100,000 population, according to 2011 CDC statistics. Louisiana has the highest rate at 36.6, and Maryland is second at 36.4. The District of Columbia's rate in this category is 177.7, and the U.S. Virgin Islands has a rate of 39.5.

Day of the Twinkie

Twinkies are coming back to stores, but what about Hostess cupcakes? I always liked them better than Twinkies.

Monday is the day that Hostess CupCakes, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Donettes and other Hostess branded snacks return to store shelves. About 50 million Twinkies and 40 million CupCakes are being shipped to about 100,000 stores in what the new company, Hostess Brands LLC, is promoting as "the sweetest comeback in the history of ever." The previous owner declared bankruptcy in 2012 when union bakers went on strike.

Virtual schools

What is the difference between Florida Virtual School and Pasco eSchool?

Florida Virtual School, or FLVS, is a statewide public school district that offers more than 120 free online courses to public, private or home-schooled students in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to Tonia Chow, communications specialist for the district.

Pasco eSchool is a franchise of FLVS, uses its courses and receives student support, teacher training, administrative, curriculum and technical support, Chow said. Pasco eSchool uses its own teachers. State law requires every school district to operate a virtual school program.

You can get more information about FLVS at, and about the Pasco eSchool at

Gas without ethanol

When will gas stations be selling fuel without ethanol?

There are gas stations out there selling ethanol-free gas now. One national website that's compiling a list of those stations in every state is Across the bottom of the home page are links to every state. Click on Florida and you'll find, for example, two ethanol-free stations in Clearwater, nine in St. Petersburg, four in Tampa, two in Brooksville, three in Dunedin, two in Dade City, one in Tarpon Springs and one in New Port Richey.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Ask the Times: Questions on HIV, Twinkies, ethanol 07/13/13 [Last modified: Monday, July 15, 2013 6:11pm]
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