AIDS rate remains
constant in Hawaii

Despite the
availability of powerful antiretroviral drugs that help HIV
patients avoid progressing to an AIDS diagnosis, the number
of newly reported AIDS cases in Hawaii has remained
stable during the past six years, health officials
told the Honolulu Advertiser. "We would think
by now we would be seeing fewer cases since treatment
has been available for some time," Peter Whiticar,
head of the state health department’s HIV and
sexually transmitted disease prevention branch, told
the newspaper.

The stability of
the AIDS rate suggests that many HIV-positive people are
being diagnosed with HIV disease only after they’ve
already progressed to AIDS, that some HIV patients are
not receiving antiretroviral therapy, and that some
patients who are being treated are becoming resistant to
their medications, Whiticar said.

Gay and bisexual
men accounted for 62% of the 109 newly reported AIDS
cases in 2005, said health officials. Caucasians accounted
for 58% of the new cases, Asians 12%, and Hawaiians
and Pacific Islanders 8%. Since 1983, Hawaii has
reported 2,847 cumulative AIDS cases and 1,542
AIDS-related deaths in the state. Health officials estimate
that there are about 3,200 HIV-positive people
currently living in Hawaii. (

Tags: Health, Health