FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--South Florida is seeing a dramatic increase in the number of new reported HIV cases, newly released statistics from the Florida Department of Health show. Year-over-year comparisons of First Quarter HIV case reporting (Jan – March 2014 to Jan – March 2015) show that new HIV diagnoses in Broward County are up 16% in 2015 (282 new HIV cases up from 244 in 2014), Miami-Dade up 20% (407 new HIV cases up from 339), while Palm Beach County jumped an alarming 53% (132 new HIV cases up from 86).
The skyrocketing HIV rates in South Florida come at a time when more than 60% of the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are not in regular medical care and treatment. The dramatic increases in new HIV cases found in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties no doubt contribute to the fact that the State of Florida regularly accounts for over 10% of the roughly 50,000 or so new HIV cases identified each year in the U.S., as well as the fact that Florida consistently ranks second only to California in the number of HIV cases identified nationwide annually.
These stark new HIV numbers in Florida should serve as a clarion call for community and government providers to redouble efforts to identify and link HIV-positive individuals into lifesaving care and treatment.
Statewide, according to the Executive Information Report for Surveillance: January-March 2013, 2014 & 2015, the overall increase in new HIV cases in Florida for First Quarter year-over-year comparisons from 2014 to 2015 jumped 24% (1,776 new HIV cases statewide in Q1 2015 up from 1,430 cases in Q1 2013). The statewide jump from First Quarter comparisons from 2013 to 2015 was even steeper: 36% (1,776 cases in Q1 2015 up from 1,310 in Q1 2013).
And although minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS compared to their overall proportion of the population, white Floridians saw the greatest percentage increase—72%—in new HIV diagnoses from Q1 2013 to Q1 2015 (587 new HIV cases in 2015 up from 341 in Q1 2013).
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 415,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the U.S., Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare