Local AIDS official says new CDC HIV report is not all bad | Events
The executive director of Metro Health in Baton Rouge says the recent report that Baton Rouge is number two in new HIV infection diagnoses is not all bad news.
"It says to me that more people are getting tested and the word is getting out and that's a good thing," says Shirley Lolis of Metrol Health which provides testing, counseling, and case management.
The report, released Jan. 10, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on 2010 data of all U.S. metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 people.The Baton Rouge metro area consists of nine parishes: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Livingston and St. Helena.
Baton Rouge's rate of people diagnosed with HIV in 2010 is 52.1, meaning about 52 people per 100,000 population were diagnosed with the virus. New Orleans' rate is 44.3, which ranks third in the U.S.
Lolis says Baton Rouge still ranks first in the number of AIDS cases.
"When people see we're ranked number two, they will immediately think it's gotten better, but we're still number one in AIDS cases," Lolis says. "The good news is we more agencies providing testing and more people testing. Testing is an important of prevention."
Lolis says still more outreach can be done to prevent the spread of this disease.
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