Preventing AIDS - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Preventing AIDS

Wendy Damonte
Channel 2 News

Jacqueline Whitehead was diagnosed with AIDS in 1991.  "In the community you know that there are more people than are reported because you are living this."  The CDC now says the AIDS epidemic in the United States is more severe than previously thought. A new blood test allowing scientists to pinpoint how recently an hiv infection occurred led to a dramatic revision of the numbers.

Since 1992, the CDC had been reporting about 40 thousand new infections every year. Now it says that number is more like 56 thousand.  While the new CDC report showed infection rates falling among heterosexuals and injection drug users other groups are in crises.  Dr. Kevin Fenton is with the Centers for Disease Control.  "New infections are taking their greatest toll among gay and bi-sexual men of all races, among minority communities, and especially the african american and hispanic communities."

Black Americans are now seven times more likely to be infected than whites.  President Bush just signed a bill to fight the global AIDS epidemic.  But spending in the US has been flat for the last seven years. Activists hope these new numbers will help refocus money and efforts on prevention here.

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