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Indiana plans to study jump in HIV and AIDS cases

Indiana plans to study jump in HIV and AIDS cases

The Indiana State Department of Health has received $280,000 in federal money to study the cause of increases in the state's HIV and AIDS cases and find ways to lower the state's HIV infection rate. From 1999 to 2002 the number of newly reported cases of HIV among white men rose from 340 to 430, and among black men new cases increased from 140 in 1999 to 250 three years later. "We've been used to seeing males making up 80% to 90% of our epidemic here in Indiana since we began tracking cases in the 1980s," said Michael Butler, head of the health department's division on HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. "But we've been seeing a greater percentage of cases being reported among females." Among white women, the number of new cases from 1999 to 2002 increased from 33 to 68; black women had an increase from 78 new cases in 1999 to 88 in 2002, Butler said. The project is scheduled to begin in April, and the department will gather test results and use more advanced equipment to assess whether people with newly reported cases of HIV were infected within the past year. The results will then be reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "One of the mandates the CDC has right now is to try to identify where the new infections are coming from," said Butler. In the project's next phase, beginning in January, researchers will look at whether people have been infected with drug-resistant strains of HIV.

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