A recent study revealed that HIV infection rates have doubled to 12 percent in Washington, DC among heterosexual, African-American women. The disease is more prevalent in areas of poverty.
The study conducted by DC health officials found that the majority of the 482 people surveyed with HIV were African-American — 90 percent. In addition, more than half had incomes of less than $10,000 and 37 percent were unemployed.
According to The Washington Post, there are almost 15,000 people over the age of 12 living with HIV or AIDS in Washington, DC. At 2.7 percent, that is the highest level for any city in the US.
Michael Rhein, senior vice president at the Institute for Public Health Innovation, said it’s “a true increase in the HIV rate among heterosexuals and women living in areas of concentrated poverty.”
Out of the people surveyed, it’s likely that 20 to 30 percent are unaware that they are infected. Greg Pappas, senior director at the DC Health Department, said that the percentage of the infected population “is probably walking around infected and don’t know it.”
However, more people in the area are getting treated. Nearly 76 percent of infected individuals got treatment in 2010 within the first three months of diagnosis.