Number Of HIV Cases In Cook County Doubles
The number of people in Cook County living with HIV or AIDS has doubled in the last eight years according to a new report [PDF] released by the Cook County Department of Public Health. In 2008 there were 3,474 cases reported compared to 1,507 cases in 2000. The largest demographic diagnosed with HIV was African-American and white males between ages 30-49 who had same sex partners. But there was a little good news: HIV cases resulting from heterosexual contact and drug use injection declined slightly while HIV-related deaths also declined by 37 percent. Outside of Chicago, the suburbs of Cicero, Harvey and Maywood had the most diagnosed cases.
Still, while the state continues to put money towards prevention, there are gaps. Since 2007, despite the rise in HIV and AIDS among African-Americans, their share of prevention dollars has been disproportionately low, according to an analysis by the Chicago Reporter. “The current HIV epidemic amongst African-American [men who have sex with men] is at an all-time high and should be considered a state of emergency in Illinois,” Harold Lawary, former community co-chair of the Illinois HIV prevention community planning group told the Chicago Reporter.
Budget cuts have closed down many prevention outlets across the state and more will be scaled back in resources this upcoming year. Medications and antiretroviral therapy have become more effective, but the costs are rising.
Post by Sean Stillmaker