The number of HIV cases has risen among gay men in Utah during the past two years, as well as among Latinos, whites, those ages 20-29, and women, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. State health officials say 53% of HIV infections in the state between 1998 and 2003 were among gay and bisexual men, while injection-drug use came in as the number 2 mode of transmission, accounting for 13% of infections. From 2000 to 2003, the number of HIV cases among gay men who also used injection drugs doubled.
The rise in infections, particularly among young people, has health officials in the state worried. "There's a younger generation that denies the danger because they weren't around when everyone was dying," Kristen Ries, a physician at University of Utah's infectious-disease clinic, which treats 90% of Utah's HIV patients, told the Tribune. But she warns that many HIV patients are developing resistance to anti-HIV medications and that people are still dying of the disease. "In our clinic, we've had more deaths and people in nursing homes and hospice [recently] than we have in a long time," she said.