Mobile County, Ala., Notes Increase of HIV Infections Among Heterosexual Women
Heterosexual women, particularly minority women, now represent the fastest-growing population with HIV/AIDS in Mobile County, Ala., the Mobile Register reports. Alfreda King, director of AIDS control for the county, said that women represent an increasing proportion of HIV infections and most of these new infections are occurring among minority women. King said that gay men used to be the population with the highest proportion of HIV/AIDS cases, but education efforts have helped stem the spread of the virus among men who have sex with men. "Now we've got to work on the heterosexual population," she said. Sherry Atchison, an official with Mobile AIDS Support Services, said that men who have sex with men and male injection drug users are transmitting HIV to female partners. With a total of 2,117 HIV/AIDS cases, Mobile County has the second-largest HIV-positive population in the state. Nearly 530 people per 100,000 people in the county are HIV-positive. Michael Mitchell, executive director of MASS, said that HIV/AIDS cases in the county have "started to level off in recent years," dropping from 143 new cases in 1994 to 120 new cases in both 2000 and 2001. King and Atchison said that local black churches have been instrumental in helping raise AIDS awareness among their congregants (McGaughey, Mobile Register, 9/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.