HIV rates remain high in GA

HIV Stats in SOWEGA

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A second person being cured of HIV this week in Great Britain could bring hope to the growing number of people fighting the disease in Southwest Georgia.

Outside of the Atlanta metro area, Southwest Georgia is seeing some of the higher diagnosed HIV cases in the state, according to a 2017 study.

“The South has higher rates of HIV then other parts of the Nation, and then when you look at Georgia, we rank pretty high as well,” said Remy Hutchins with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Remy Hutchins with the Georgia Department of Public Health
Remy Hutchins with the Georgia Department of Public Health (Source: WALB)

The Georgia Department of Public Health is reporting almost 2,700 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2017 in our state.

Of those diagnosed, 77 percent were men, 22 percent were women and 1% were transgender.

Most of those men transmitted the virus through male to male intercourse.

Almost all of the women who transmitted the virus was through heterosexual conduct.

Majority of transgenders who transmitted the virus did so through intercourse and three percent did through drug use.

“New infections typically are in younger individuals like early 20s is where we’re seeing a lot of new infections but we’re also starting to see infections in those that are a little later to mid-life as well,” said Hutchins.

HIV diagnoses were higher for women in their 30s, according to the study.

The 2017 report shows black males were diagnosed the most with HIV. Then Hispanic males followed by black females.

Another Georgia study charted diagnoses from 2011 through 2017. The biggest decline was in 2013 and the peak was in 2011.

However, rates stayed consistently steady through those years

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