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Washington Has Highest AIDS Infection Rate Among U.S Cities


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The District of Columbia has the highest rate of AIDS infection of any city in the country and the disease is being transmitted to infants, older adults, women and heterosexual men at an epidemic pace, according to a report released Monday by city health officials.

 

The report said more than 12,400 people in the city ? about 1 in 50 ? are living with AIDS or H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

 

?H.I.V./AIDS in the district has become a modern epidemic with complexities and challenges that continue to threaten the lives and well-being of far too many residents,? said the report, which includes the first-ever study of statistics on H.I.V. in the city, along with updated data on AIDS cases. The H.I.V. data offers a vital snapshot of the most recent infections so health officials can study any changes in transmission patterns, the officials said.

 

The city?s AIDS prevention office has been faulted in the past as not keeping proper data to track and fight the disease, and the director of the office is the 13th in just over two decades, a turnover rate that has hampered its focus, advocates for AIDS patients said.

 

The report said that from 2001 to 2006, 56 children, ages 13 or younger, were found to have either H.I.V. or AIDS, and almost all of them were infected at birth.

 

These cases, which account for 6 percent of all mother-to-child H.I.V. infections in the nation in the last five years, were especially alarming, city officials said, because they could have been avoided with routine H.I.V. testing during pregnancy, quick-results oral swabs during labor and ?fast tracking? of the anti-retroviral drugs that can prevent transmission during delivery.

 

Although black residents account for 57 percent of the city?s population of 500,000 or so, they account for 81 percent of new reports of H.I.V. cases and about 86 percent of people with AIDS.

 

The report also found that the disease spread through heterosexual contact in more than 37 percent of the cases detected from 2001 to last year, in contrast with the 25 percent of cases attributable to men having sex with men. Starting in 2004, the number of new H.I.V. cases among men and women ages 40 to 49 outpaced every other age group in the city.

 

While the report found 8,368 reported cases of people living with AIDS in the district at the end of last year, a 43 percent increase from 2001, it also found that the number of new H.I.V. cases began declining in 2003. City health officials say the drop in H.I.V. numbers was most likely a result of under-reporting or delayed reporting.

 

Dr. Shannon Hader, who became head of the city?s H.I.V./AIDS Administration in October, said the city had begun confronting the problem. In the last year, Dr. Hader said, the city began providing voluntary screening to all incoming prison inmates, tripled the number of locations for free screening and initiated a free condom distribution program.

 

?We are also trying to raise awareness that there are programs in the city where people who are infected can get antiretroviral treatment, even if they do not have insurance and or cannot afford to pay for the treatment,? she said.

 

City health officials said unprotected sex was the most common way H.I.V. is spread, followed by intravenous drug use. Since 2000, about 13 percent of all new H.I.V. cases in the city involved intravenous drug use, most likely the sharing of needles.

 

Washington is still the only city in the country barred by federal law from using local tax money to finance needle exchange programs. Congress controls the city?s system of government, and for nearly a decade members of the House, citing concerns about worsening drug abuse, have inserted language into the bill approving the city?s budget to prohibit financing such programs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/us/27aid...rtner=TOPIXNEWS

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Guest iFesta Touch

Newspapers shouldn't report on things that are of lesser importance than something else.

 

Retarded.

 

Only if a Republican is found to be causing said news of lesser importance and said news is negative should such news be reported.

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Stop. Having. Sex.

Needles are more of a problem.

Read the article you posted

City health officials said unprotected sex was the most common way H.I.V. is spread, followed by intravenous drug use. Since 2000, about 13 percent of all new H.I.V. cases in the city involved intravenous drug use, most likely the sharing of needles.

 

13% does not constitute more of a problem.

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Guest iFesta Touch

Over the summer on the train ride from NYC to Miami ( :| ) I was in complete shock when the train went through the ghetto in Baltimore. Never in the US had I seen the absolutely deplorable conditions that particular neighborhood was in. A good majority of the houses were condemned or near it.

 

This basically describes what I saw:

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Baltimore does a great job of hiding their problems simply due to they put everything a tourist wants in the inner harbor where it's one of the nicest spots you'll find in any major city. You ask most people outside of Maryland who does not watch the Wire and I'm willing to bet they have nothing but good things to say about Baltimore.

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I live right outside of DC in Bethesda, MD. I've worked in DC. Now I work in Baltimore(firm moved me to another office). The two cities are so close that commuting between the two happens a lot.

 

DC is two different cities. It is Northwest, the national mall, and downtown, and then the rest of the city.

 

Northwest DC is pretty nice. It's clean with nice neighborhoods and plenty of places and things to do. It's got Rock Creek Park and has a lot of money and class. Downtown DC is very nice with all the monuments and federal buildings. K street is full of white collar workers. The rest of DC outside of NW and parts of SW are pretty much the ghetto with high crime and major problems.

 

Working in downtown Baltimore next to the inner harbor, I have no clue what is good about Baltimore. Every part of the city I have been to is either downtrodden or gritty. The downtown area seems like it is desperate for businesses to move in. Seriously, what good parts are there in Baltimore? NW DC is ten times better for a young professional. Suffice it to say, it is a working class town, but not on the same track as the new big cities like San Fran, NY, and NW DC.

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Guest iFesta Touch

Train ride from NYC to Miami? Believe me, if this was for monetary reasons you will find no one more sympathetic in that regard but my experience with Amtrak is that it is usually just cheaper to fly.

 

My trip this summer was MIA to WV, WV to NYC, NYC to Miami. The tickets for a flight from NYC to MIA would have cost us nearly $400 more the price of the train ticket because it was one way. But by the end of the trip and three separate trains we were ready to pay the price (too bad there were no flights).

 

Trains are a huge POS if you A) Ride coach or B) Ride on CSX owned track (Amtrak needs to yield to CSX freight so the train stopped every 2 miles. The 20 mph speed limit because of heat didn't help much. Long (funny now) story short an eight hour train trip from WV to NYC turned into a 14 hour nightmare.)

 

But I'll leave that experience for another thread.

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Whoa, it depends on the profession in determining which city is better for work. Does it not?

 

Baltimore to me has better food and better culture. I highly value those elements. The only thing we lack that DC has is the developed mass transit system.

 

The South/Southeast portions of the city are becoming absolutely gorgeous. Many sections above North Ave. are nice as well. There is a lot of development going on in that area.

 

I'll admit I haven't seen all parts of Baltimore, just the downtown parts. But the downtown part is not very impressive I guess. It's just not as thriving as K street or downtown DC. I've driven through other parts of Bmoe and all I seem to see is industry and downtrodden areas and more industry.

 

I'll concede that DC lacks the food that a city like Baltimore or New Orleans has. But there are just so many things to do in NW. Cleveland park, Adams Morgan, Dupont, etc etc.

 

Maybe to me, DC and NW DC has a great identity. Does Bmore have an identity outside of being a blue collar town?

 

I think I just need to see more of Baltimore than what I've seen.

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