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Report: D.C. has highest AIDS incidence in nation

Report: D.C. has highest AIDS incidence in nation

A report released this week by the District of Columbia's HIV/AIDS Administration shows that D.C. has the highest incidence of AIDS in the nation, with about 119 cases per 100,000 residents. Washington ranks ahead of New York, San Francisco, and Baltimore--three other AIDS hot spots around the country--in AIDS incidence, according to the report. The city had 678 new AIDS cases diagnosed in 2001. Almost 80% of all new AIDS cases in D.C. are among African-Americans, who make up about 61% of the district's population. HAA estimates that 12,000 to 14,000 D.C. residents are HIV-positive in addition to the more than 8,100 who have progressed to an AIDS diagnosis. AIDS experts say a high rate of intravenous drug use and problems with access to health care are contributing to the high AIDS incidence among the district's African-Americans. "What this tells you is that those infected with HIV in D.C. are not getting the medical care that they should be getting," Tom Coates, director of the San Francisco-based AIDS Research Institute, told the The Washington Post. "Studies from national data show us that if you're African-American you're less likely to be treated sooner."

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