Florida is the top state for newly-diagnosed HIV infections.
That’s according to new numbers released by Centers for Disease Control, which states Florida had 5,377 new HIV cases in 2013 and 6,147 new HIV cases in 2014.
Florida is in the top three states with the highest number of new HIV infections diagnosed among children, and is the #4 state with the highest HIV infection case rates.
The Florida Department of Health breaks down the numbers further, reporting that of the 2014 new diagnoses, 15 were among children younger than 13 years old and 80% were males. County-wise, Miami Dade was tops in new HIV cases, followed by Broward, Orange, Hillsborough and Palm Beach.
The soar in new HIV cases is startling when considered alongside the news that Florida Governor Rick Scott and the state’s top health officer, Dr. John Armstrong, have cut Department of Health personnel over the next four years, which has in turn shrunk the size of county health departments. That’s according to the Miami Herald, which contacted Armstrong about the startling HIV rates. Armstrong responded with a statement that staff reductions do not impact “the surveillance, education, prevention, counseling, testing, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients,” and that Florida is spending a record $34 million on HIV and AIDS prevention this year thanks to a federal grant.
In June of 2015, the same week it was announced that Orange County’s new HIV cases are up 47 percent from last year, the Centers for Disease Control announced no Central Florida HIV organizations will receive CDC grants this year.