Ohio HIV e-mail is a fake, officials say
June 03 2004 11:00 PM ET
Health department officials from Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, this week announced that a widely circulated e-mail about HIV infection rates among local high school students is a hoax, The Plain Dealer reports. The e-mail says that the American Red Cross discovered hundreds of HIV infections among area high school students during blood drives at their schools. The Red Cross tests all donated blood for the virus. Health officials say the cumulative total of teenagers with confirmed HIV infection in Cleveland is now 25 and that the local blood drives did not identify any new infections. About 208,000 units of blood are collected from all age groups in the Cleveland area each year, and about five test positive for HIV annually, according to Cleveland medical director Wendy Johnson. The identity of the person who circulated the e-mail is still unknown, but police are investigating the case.