Virginian-Pilot Examines High HIV Rates, Decrease in HIV Vertical Transmission in Eastern Virginia
The Virginian-Pilot yesterday examined the increasing number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Norfolk, Va., metropolitan area. Although infection rates nationwide are "leveling off," rates in the Norfolk area have continued to increase over the last four years, particularly among African-American and low-income residents. According to health experts, the increase in the region's HIV infection rate is likely due to high rates of other sexually transmitted diseases and injection drug use, poverty, transient populations and "complacency and denial" about the disease (Szabo, Virginian-Pilot, 11/10). The article is available online.
The Virginian-Pilot yesterday also reported that mother-to-child HIV transmission has "fallen dramatically" in the area. In the 1980s and early 1990s, approximately half of all infants born to HIV-positive women in the area contracted the virus. However, during the first 10 months of 2002, there have been no reports of HIV-positive infants born in the area. Dr. Bonnie Dattel, an obstetrician in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, said that a study in which HIV-positive pregnant women and their infants were given the antiretroviral zidovudine was the "turning point" in the fight against vertical HIV transmission in the region (Simpson, Virginian-Pilot, 11/10). The article is available online.