D.C. Sees Decrease in New HIV Cases

Mayor attributes needle exchange, condom distribution

By WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
|  Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012  |  Updated 10:18 PM EDT
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D.C. Sees Decrease in New HIV Cases

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The latest information from D.C.'s Department of Health shows a slight decrease in the number of new HIV cases from 2009 to 2010.

Dr. Mohammad Akhter, who heads the D.C. Department of Health, said the number of new HIV cases has trended downward over the past few years. The most recent numbers show 835 new cases.

"Still 835 too many," said Akther. "Every day two or three people get infected in the city."

Currently 2.7 percent of District residents are living with HIV. That's approximately 14,500 people.

Mayor Vincent Gray attributes the decrease in new HIV cases to a needle exchange program and condom distribution. Last year 5 million condoms were distributed in the District of Columbia.

Gray said that's a tenfold increase from 2007. Since then the Department of Health has also tripled the number of HIV tests. Estimates say that between 20 to 40 percent of HIV infected people in the District are unaware of their diagnosis.

Complete story at wamu.org

Copyright WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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