HIV infections up in Wisconsin
Health officials in Wisconsin have reported a 16% increase in new HIV infections from 2001 to 2002, the Madison Wisconsin State Journal reports. In 2002, 390 new cases of HIV were reported in Wisconsin, up from 336 in 2001. New HIV infections dropped a bit in 2001 from 2000 levels, but state health officials say the decrease was likely just a random fluctuation, noting that since 1998 the average number of new HIV infections has been between 370 and 390 cases. "However, it is clear that a leveling off at this high number of cases is unacceptable, and intensified prevention efforts will be required to again put the case numbers on a declining path," James Vergeront, head of the state's HIV/AIDS program, told the Journal. Many of the new infections reported in 2002 were among men who have sex with men. But more than half of all new HIV infections in Wisconsin in 2002 occurred among African-Americans, who make up just 12% of the state's population but accounted for 54% of the new HIV diagnoses.