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AIDS stats above average

An Auburn University Montgomery research group has released a study showing a decline of HIV/AIDS diagnoses for 2012 among the state, but an increase for the Dallas County area.

The Auburn Montgomery ‘s Center for Demographic Research reported 12.27 people per 100,000 in Alabama were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2012, which is lower than the 13.75 per 100,000 they reported in 2011.

Although the state overall is showing improvement, the 2013 Alabama HIV/AIDS and STDs data sheet highlighted Dallas County standing as the fourth highest incidence rated county in 2012, with 23.33 people per 100,000 diagnosed with new cases.

“We will have to provide more HIV/AIDs education,” HIV Program Coordinator for the Alabama Department of Public Health Janice Robins said. “That’s what we would have to do. Not just the health department, I mean people, the community and leaders.

Robins said Dallas County could decrease their diagnosis rate of HIV/AIDs by bringing awareness to the issue and eliminating the stigma associated with the illness.

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s State of Alabama HIV Surveillance 2012 annual report showed Montgomery, Butler, Pickens and Jefferson counties joined Dallas County in reporting high figures.

“The high rates seen in these counties indicate a need for increased HIV prevention efforts in focused rural areas,” the report stated.

The Alabama Public Department of Health works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs by monitoring the epidemic, improving public understanding of HIV, preventing or reducing behaviors that transmit HIV, increasing individual knowledge of HIV serostatu and strengthening systems for referral to appropriate prevention and treatment services. For more information about HIV/AIDS, contact Robbins at 874-2250.