Number of New HIV Diagnoses in Iowa Increases 7% From 2001 to 2002
The number of new HIV diagnoses in Iowa increased 7% from 2001 to 2002, according to data from the state Department of Public Health, the Des Moines Register reports. Although fewer U.S.-born Iowans were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2002 compared with 2001, 28 foreign-born Iowans were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2002 compared with 17 in 2001. Over the same period, the number of newly diagnosed U.S.-born Iowans decreased from 79 to 75. "The numbers overall went up for the first time in a number of years ... due to the increase in foreign-born residents being diagnosed," Randy Mayer, health department HIV/AIDS surveillance coordinator, said, adding, "As the numbers go up very steeply, it's really affected how we look at our epidemic." According to Jerry Heinauer, interim director for the state Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, most people entering the United States on temporary visas are not required to undergo HIV testing, and individuals who have tested positive for communicable diseases, such as HIV, can be refused entry into the United States for that reason. In addition, individuals who enter the country without proper documents would not be tested for HIV or other diseases, according to the Register. "We might need to come up with new interventions for early testing so they find out their status earlier so they aren't inadvertently passing their HIV on to others," Mayer said (Krantz, Des Moines Register, 5/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.