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January 20, 2009

AIDS Deaths Decrease in Iowa as New Infections Climb

Although more Iowans are being diagnosed with HIV, fewer are dying from AIDS, The Associated Press reports. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 1,567 people in Iowa were living with HIV or AIDS in 2008.

There were 127 new HIV diagnoses reported in 2007, which health officials say is an increase over the previous two years. However, public health spokesman Randy Mayer said that 32 Iowans died of AIDS last year compared with 102 deaths in 1995, before antiretroviral medication was available. Unprotected sex is the main cause of HIV/AIDS in Iowa where most people living with the disease are men who have sex with men.

“With good treatment and early diagnosis, we wouldn’t expect it to significantly change your life expectancy,” said Mayer, adding that more people are viewing HIV/AIDS as chronic disease, not a death sentence.

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