Iowa health department officials say that the number of new HIV diagnoses in the state climbed in 2002, with new cases up 7% over 2001 levels, The Des Moines Register reports. A total of 103 state residents were diagnosed with HIV in 2002, up from 96 in 2001. The number of HIV diagnoses in 2002 among foreign-born Iowans increased dramatically, up nearly 60% from 2001 levels. HIV infections among U.S.-born Iowans actually fell from 79 cases in 2001 to 75 in 2002.
"The numbers overall went up for the first time in a number of years due to the increase in foreign-born residents being diagnosed," said Randy Mayer, health department HIV/AIDS surveillance coordinator. "As the numbers go up very steeply, it's really affected how we look at our epidemic. We might need to come up with new interventions for early testing so [foreign-born Iowans] can find out their status earlier so they aren't inadvertently passing their HIV on to others."