Arizona Makes Strides In HIV Care, But New Cases On The Rise

By  Will Stone
Published: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:56am
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 3:25pm

People with HIV are getting treatment and living longer in Arizona, but more people are being diagnosed with the disease.

This week, the Arizona Department of Health Services released its annual report, which shows a slight increase in 2016. About 780 people were diagnosed last year compared to 730 in 2015.

The number of new cases has been rising slowly in recent years.

"It’s not a profound uptick, but a slight uptick," said Will Humble, director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

But Humble said there is some promising news, too.

The report shows more people are getting into treatment, lowering their viral load and living longer.

“That trend over the last five years is continuing to go up. Part of that, I think, is our efforts in the community to get people  into care. But also, quite frankly, part of that is getting more people health insurance," Humble said, referring to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.

Men who have sex with men account for 60 percent of new cases. Meanwhile, Arizona’s black population continues to be disproportionately affected. Rates of new cases for that group have nearly doubled since 2010.

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