Florida’s St. Lucie County Reports Decline in HIV/AIDS Cases
St. Lucie County health authorities announced a dramatic reduction in the number of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS within the county.
HIV infections dropped 54 percent over the past eight years. Seven years ago, one in 35 blacks in the county were diagnosed with the virus – the highest rate in Florida, according to the St. Lucie County Health Department.
“The St. Lucie community has worked together to produce dramatic results with HIV prevention,” Dennis V. Cookro, deputy secretary for health, said in a statement. “At the Florida Department of Health – St Lucie, and across the state, we are committed to disease prevention through community collaboration.”
The county says they were able to bring down the number of infections thanks in part to educational campaigns and the help of local salons, barber shops, and churches that distributed information about HIV.
According to 2008 statistics from the Florida Department of Health , the HIV/AIDS rate for black men (straight or gay) is nearly five times the rate for white men: 1 in 31 black men in Palm Beach County had HIV or AIDS. In Broward County, 1 in 41 black men were infected; and in Miami-Dade, 1 in 29.
Numbers from 2009, specifically in terms of black MSM, state that one in 12 men in Florida has AIDS. In Miami-Dade, it’s one in eight.