Indiana's Marion County, home to Indianapolis, is witnessing a rise in HIV/AIDS cases that could give the county its highest number of new cases since 1994, The Indianapolis Star reports. From January 1 through July 31, 160 new AIDS cases and 149 new HIV infections were reported, giving the county its fastest-growing rate of new cases in eight years. During the same period in 2001, there were 76 new AIDS cases and 84 new HIV infections reported.
The number of new AIDS cases reported during the first seven months of 2002 already has surpassed the total number of cases reported in each of the entire years of 1999, 2000, or 2001. If new cases are reported at the same rate for the rest of 2002, the year-end total will rank second in highest numbers of new cases, behind only the 1993 total of 381 new AIDS cases and 385 new HIV infections. Health officials say they are not sure whether the rising numbers in 2002 are due to increasing risky behaviors or are a result of stepped-up efforts to get people to test for HIV antibodies.